I wanted to take a moment to share a recent podcast I participated in on The Inventions Show with host Tack Lee. Here is his excerpt from our chat: Live with your heart not just your head with Kevin Hancock, a sixth-generation family CEO of Hancock Lumber, one of the oldest companies in America which dates back to 1848. An extraordinary leader who is also an award-winning author and speaker. Simply Inspirational and transformational. Kevin shares his incredible journey of self discovery after being diagnosed with a rare neurological condition that made speaking difficult. How he had to think differently and reinvent leadership through dispersing of power. His mission to strengthen the voice of others and come into their own true voice.
So the article copied below fascinates me. I’ve been on this theme for a while but have not really known how to approach it. I’m trying to reconcile the following dichotomy – there are lots of American based multi-national corporations that want to lead for social justice in THIS country (which is great) BUT won’t touch the subject of social justice in China. The NBA caught my attention on this earlier in the year when the entire league refused to speak out for social justice for the people of Hong Kong…and now there is Disney with its latest movie – Mulan (the remade / non-animated version).
We watched the new Mulan as a family about a week ago. We all left feeling it was ‘ok’ and ‘oddly generic’ in the subject matter it approached and avoided. When a friend of mine sent me this article below from Jeff Jacoby of The Boston Globe – the ‘plainness’ of the movie came clear. You might give Jacoby’s article below a read and see what you think.
Here’s where I have landed – multinational corporations NEED China economically AND advocating for social justice in China will NOT help your cause so they don’t. Your economic success in the massive Chinese market depends in large part upon the Chinese Communist Party’s satisfaction with your behavior and messaging. In America advocating for social justice is seen as good for business – so they pretty much all do it.
I love advancing social justice in America. The only thing better, to me, would be to advance social justice globally but companies won’t take those risks. Corporate involvement in ‘social justice’ is still often a calculated business decision and until we get beyond that we will only be in limited and selective pursuit of a cause that should apply to everyone.
To do business with China you must placate China and I’m not sure if this current reality of this global economic phenomenon has yet been called into the light.
Disney Thanks the Dictators by Jeff Jacoby
I don’t subscribe to Disney Plus. But even if I did I wouldn’t spend $29.99 to view Disney’s ballyhooed remake of “Mulan.”
According to critics who have seen it, the $200 million picture is a mediocre piece of moviemaking. It reflects “a timid and studied thematic emptiness, an avoidance of any specific ideas or questions that might upset anyone, anywhere, at all,” writes Reason’s Peter Suderman. “Mulan fights for honor, for family, for finding herself and owning her power, which is to say she fights for vague and inoffensive banalities.” In the Wall Street Journal, critic Joe Morgenstern calls it “earnest, often clumsy and notably short on joy,” and concludes that “the film as a whole lacks the clarity of its animated predecessor, not to mention the earlier version’s gleeful showmanship, gorgeous design, and vastly wider emotional range.” Joshua Rivera, reviewing “Mulan” for The Verge , says it “feels like an anticlimax. . . . [It is] merely a serviceable film that’s rather easy to forget.”
The real problem with “Mulan,” however, isn’t its artistic failings, but its moral callousness.
Unlike Disney’s 1998 original, a key theme of which was self-determination and personal freedom, the remake heavily emphasizes the virtue of loyalty to family and community. In China, where the movie is set, loyalty is also a heavily stressed value — loyalty to the state and to the ruling Communist Party. It is not by coincidence that the new “Mulan” reinforces a doctrine so important to the Chinese dictatorship: Disney collaborated with Chinese authorities in making the film.
The company “worked closely with China’s government, all the while striving to present a main character and story line faithful to Chinese values,” reported the Wall Street Journal earlier this month. “To avoid controversy and guarantee a China release, Disney shared the script with Chinese authorities while consulting with local advisers.”
There is no indication that anyone connected with the movie objected to toeing China’s Communist Party line. When pro-democracy protesters were being brutally assaulted in Hong Kong last year, the star of the new movie, Chinese-born American actress Liu Yifei, publicly supported the security police suppressing the protests . That was appalling. But it was nothing compared to the discovery that “Mulan” was filmed within hailing distance of China’s Uighur concentration camps, and that in the credits at the end of the film, Disney thanks China’s rulers for the privilege.
Those credits, wrote Isaac Stone Fish in The Washington Post, are “the most devastating” thing about the movie:
Disney filmed “Mulan” in regions across China (among other locations). In the credits, Disney offers a special thanks to more than a dozen Chinese institutions that helped with the film. These include four Chinese Communist Party propaganda departments in the region of Xinjiang as well as the Public Security Bureau of the city of Turpan in the same region — organizations that are facilitating crimes against humanity. It’s sufficiently astonishing that it bears repeating: Disney has thanked four propaganda departments and a public security bureau in Xinjiang, a region in northwest China that is the site of one of the world’s worst human rights abuses happening today.
More than a million Muslims in Xinjiang, mostly of the Uighur minority, have been imprisoned in concentration camps. Some have been released. Countless numbers have died. Forced sterilization campaigns have caused the birth rate in Xinjiang to plummet roughly 24 percent in 2019 — and “ imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group” fits within the legally recognized definition of genocide. Disney, in other words, worked with regions where genocide is occurring, and thanked government departments that are helping to carry it out. . . .
Why did Disney need to work in Xinjiang? It didn’t. There are plenty of other regions in China, and countries around the world, that offer the starkly beautiful mountain scenery present in the film. But in doing so, Disney helps normalize a crime against humanity.
So what else is new? For years, Disney and other studios have kowtowed to Beijing, subtly and not-so-subtly adjusting the content of their movies to satisfy the demands of the world’s foremost communist regime. In a recent report , PEN America, a nearly 100-year-old organization that champions human rights and fights against threats to freedom of expression, condemned Hollywood studios for “increasingly making decisions about their films — the content, casting, plot, dialogue, and settings — based on an effort to avoid antagonizing Chinese officials who control whether their films gain access to the booming Chinese market.”
There are numerous ways in which Hollywood “compromises on free expression,” says PEN:
[C]hanging the content of films intended for international — including American — audiences; engaging in self-censorship; agreeing to provide a censored version of a movie for screening in China; and in some instances directly inviting Chinese government censors onto their film sets to advise them on how to avoid tripping the censors’ wires. . . . Steadily, a new set of mores has taken hold in Hollywood, one in which appeasing Chinese government investors and gatekeepers has simply become a way of doing business.
Needless to say, US moviemakers have no hesitation about portraying American leaders, attitudes, or history in unflattering ways. In PEN’s trenchant observation,
Hollywood enjoys a reputation as a place uncowed by Washington, and one that is often gleefully willing to speak truth to American political power. This reputation contrasts strangely but silently with Hollywood’s increasing acceptance of the need to conform to Beijing’s film dictates.
Disney and other studios are private companies, free under the Constitution to promote any message they like. But their willingness to truckle to Chinese censors has a terrible impact on the freedom of others.
Beijing’s influence over Hollywood . . . cannot be ethically decoupled from the Chinese government’s practices of suppressing freedom of expression at home. Beijing enforces one of the world’s most restrictive censorship systems, in which films and other creative endeavors are subject to a strict process of pre-publication review by the State. China’s media is similarly under state control. . . . Vast categories of protected expression are criminalized, with peaceful dissidents serving years-long jail terms for their critical speech.
Independent civil society does not exist within mainland China, and the country’s Great Firewall represents the world’s most advanced and expansive system of digital censorship. In the areas of Tibet and Xinjiang, the repression of civil rights is breathtakingly severe; in Xinjiang especially, it is no exaggeration to say that millions of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities are in detention camps or jail because the government has essentially criminalized their cultural and religious expression in the region. . . . Beijing’s imposition of near-total barriers to access for Western reporters in those regions, meanwhile, helps ensure that this narrative is unchallenged.
In short, the Chinese government works tirelessly to ensure that the only stories told within China are ones that it specifically approves. Beijing’s influence over Hollywood is part of this work.
So when Disney goes out of its way to thank Chinese government propaganda agencies and the public security department in Xinjiang, anyone with a functioning conscience should be nauseated. Disney’s Chinese partners in the making of “Mulan” are literally engaged in genocide and its attendant atrocities. For a parallel, imagine a Hollywood blockbuster filmed in 1930s Germany that made a point of thanking the Reich Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment in the on-screen credits.
Once, Disney had more backbone. In 1996, the studio produced “Kundun,” a movie about the life of the Dalai Lama. The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, the Dalai Lama is reviled by the Chinese government, which routinely blackens his reputation and has made it a crime even to display his photograph. Beijing was enraged that Disney had made the movie, and vehemently insisted that it not be released.
But in those days, Disney knew how to face down communist dictators. It announced that the movie would be shown in the United States as planned, China’s threats notwithstanding. “We have an agreement to distribute ‘Kundun’ domestically,” Disney’s spokesman said, “and we intend to honor it.”
When China retaliated by restricting Disney’s access to China, however, the company abruptly shed the backbone it had briefly grown. “We made a stupid mistake in releasing ‘Kundun,’” then-CEO Michael Eisner told Premier Zhu Rongji in October 1998.
“The bad news is that the film was made; the good news is that nobody watched it,” Eisner added. “Here I want to apologize, and in the future we should prevent this sort of thing, which insults our friends, from happening.”
To repeat: Such bootlicking should nauseate anyone with a working conscience.
Maybe Disney has no qualms about its open and shameless collaboration with the brutes of Beijing, but the rest of us should. Don’t reward that collaboration with your dollars. Boycott “Mulan.”
This is the most thoughtful, data driven, reflective, and objective considerations of potential strategic responses designed to achieve maximum and balanced health, economic, and social salvation from COVID that I have read. –Kevin Hancock
- “400 million jobs have been lost world wide.”
- “We are on the cusp of an economic catastrophe. We can avoid the worst of that catastrophe by being disciplined.” – James Stock. Harvard economist.
- “The economic pain from the pandemic mostly comes not from sick people but from healthy people trying not to get sick.”
- “There have been few attempts to truly define the goal.”
- “Nursing homes account for 0.6% of the population but 45% of Covid fatalities. Better isolating those residents would have saved many lives at little economic cost.”
- “By contrast, fewer children have died this year from COVID-19 than from flu.”
- “And studies in Sweden, where most schools stayed open, and the Netherlands, where they reopened in May, found teachers at no greater risk than the overall population.”
- “If schools don’t reopen until next January, McKinsey & Co. estimates, low-income children will have lost a year of education, which it says translates into 4% lower lifetime earnings.”
- “Bars, restaurants, and casinos accounted for 32% of infections traced in Louisiana.”
- “Masks may be the most effective intervention of all.”
The thesis is that more targeted strategies would have saved / and still have the potential to save / more lives AND simultaneously create far less social and economic disruption.
This article was refreshing because, for me, it transcended politics. When was the last time you over-heard or participated in a non-political / calm / rational discussion of potential COVID management strategies with data and balance for all priorities? When I realized a couple months ago that our national Covid response would be the primary campaign debate theme in November I knew it would result in polarized thought limitations. Winning strategies usually reside in the gray middle but our politics live on the extremes and it’s costly.
Hello! Just sharing the following podcast and op-ed piece that I wrote on the importance of shared leadership, dispersed power, and respect for all voices. If you like them, please share!
- The Enlightenment for Change interview with Connie Whitman was one of my favorite podcasts to date! Connie was a great host–our discussion was deep and really fun.
- I was recently interviewed by The Startup for an article titled, A Lesson in Leadership From the CEO of One of America’s Oldest Companies.
- Thrive Global has been a fantastic partner in sharing ideas since the launch of The Seventh Power. Today they published an Op-Ed piece I wrote titled, Ninety Days in the Heart of America: Creating Change in the Age of Dispersed Power.
Hello! I have some exciting news! My next book, The Seventh Power – One CEO’S Journey into the Business of Shared Leadership, releases on February 25, 2020. My publisher, Post Hill Press recently launched the ‘coming soon’ sale site on Amazon. Check out the link and help me share it with others! It takes a community of followers to help a book and its message go viral.
This book takes the reader on an adventure that stretches from the Navajo Nation in Arizona to Kiev, Ukraine. The journey uncovers seven lessons about the art of dispersed power and the benefits of shared leadership for organizations who wish to thrive in the 21st Century. I am looking forward to sharing the full story with you soon! In the meantime, here’s a quote from the front of my book that offers a clue or two about the adventure that’s in store:
“It is extremely hard to discover the truth when you are ruling the world. You are just far too busy. Most political chiefs and business moguls are forever on the run. Yet if you want to go deeply into any subject, you need a lot of time, and in particular you need the privilege of wasting time. You need to experiment with unproductive paths, explore dead ends, make space for doubts and boredom, and allow little seeds of insight to slowly grow and blossom. If you cannot afford to waste time, you will never find the truth.”
“Great power thus acts like a black hole that warps the very space around it. The closer you get to it, the more twisted everything becomes.”
If you really want the truth, you need to escape the black hole of power and allow yourself to waste a lot of time wandering here and there on the periphery. Revolutionary knowledge rarely makes it to the center, because the center is built on existing knowledge.”—Yuval Noah Harari, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
Just click here and enter your email address to join the conversation about strengthening employee engagement through shared leadership in the workplace. Then share this link with others. It takes a village to create change.
Governor Janet Mills announced today that she has nominated six people to serve on the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission. The Governor nominated John Cashwell, Robert Checkoway, James Cote, Kevin Hancock, former Senator Michael Pearson and former Senator Richard Rosen to serve on the Commission, an inter-governmental entity charged in part with reviewing the social, economic and legal relationship between Maine Tribes and the State.
“The Maine Indian-Tribal State Commission has the potential to improve and strengthen the relationship between the State and Maine Tribes,” said Governor Mills. “In nominating these qualified individuals, my Administration is taking a step forward in reinvigorating the Commission and empowering it to become a forum for substantive communication, problem solving, and dispute resolution.”
The Commission is composed of six members appointed by the State, two by the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, two by the Passamaquoddy Tribe, and two by the Penobscot Indian Nation. The thirteenth, who is the chairperson, is selected by the other twelve. The Commission has not had a full slate of members since 2013.
All state nominations to MITSC are subject to review by the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary and final confirmation by the Maine State Senate.
Governor Mills’ Nominations to the Maine Indian-Tribal State Commission:
For appointment, John Cashwell of Bangor has served as president of Black River LLC since 2008. He previously served as Director of the Maine Forest Service from 1987 to 1992 and is a United States Army veteran. Cashwell also previously served as a Councilmember and as Mayor in both Calais and Bangor.
For appointment, Robert Checkoway of Freeport, a retired attorney, formerly served as Assistant US Trustee for the US Department of Justice, responsible for the administration of all bankruptcy cases in Maine. Checkoway also formerly served as Assistant US Trustee at Preti, Flaherty and Beliveau and formerly as Associate Attorney at Skelton, Taintor & Abbott. Checkoway is a 1976 Maine School of Law graduate.
For appointment, James Cote of Farmington is a public affairs consultant with Bernstein Shur and specializes in policies relating to natural resources, energy, and economic development. Cote formerly served as president and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors of Maine and as Director of Communications and Government Relations for the Maine Forest Products Council.
For appointment, Kevin Hancock of Casco has served as CEO of Hancock Lumber since 1991 and is the founder of Seventh Power, a non-profit organization that works to support Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Hancock is the author of the award winning novel Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse and is the recipient of the Ed Muskie Access to Justice Award, Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award, and the Habitat for Humanity Spirit of Humanity Award. Hancock is a graduate of Bowdoin College.
For appointment, the Honorable Michael Pearson of Enfield, a retired school teacher, formerly served as Old Town City Councilmember and as state representative and state senator, including as chair of the Appropriations Committee, representing the people of Old Town and Indian Island for more than twenty years.
For appointment, the Honorable Richard Rosen of Bucksport served as the Commissioner of the Department of Administration and Financial Services from 2014-2017 and for fourteen years as state representative and state senator. During his time in the Legislature, Rosen served as Senate Chair and Ranking House Member of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee and as Assistant Senate Republican Leader. Rosen is also the former owner and operator of Rosen’s, a clothing and footwear retailer in Bucksport.
DO MORE GOOD by Kevin Hancock
“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”
– Margaret J. Wheatley
May 18, 2019: This past Friday I spoke in Lincoln, Nebraska at the DO MORE GOOD conference. Don’t you love that title, DO MORE GOOD?!
The conference was held at the University of Nebraska Innovation Campus in the shadows of the giant Cornhusker football stadium. It was an exciting opportunity for me because the event brought in some top business speakers from around the country. Jay Cohen Gilbert, founder of the B Corporation movement, spoke. So, too, did Rand Stagen, co-founder of the Conscious Capitalism movement.
The conference was a call to action for corporations to adopt a mission that was bigger than just making a profit. Have a purpose that’s bigger than what you make or what you sell. Stand for something important! Your corporate purpose should solve a real problem. These were the rallying cries of the conference.
My talk and personal mission were a good fit for this event. I spoke about losing some of my voice to SD and then traveling to Pine Ridge where I encountered an entire community that did not feel heard. The two events combined to give me the inspiration to use a company as a platform to strengthen the voices of others, and to create a culture where everyone leads. So, my proposal was to create an EMPLOYEE CENTRIC company where the first priority of the business is to enhance the lives of the people who work there, by creating a safe and dynamic space for people to express themselves freely and self-actualize through work.
At the talk, my mascot was my Ringling Brothers stuffed elephant. I introduced him as the ‘elephant in the room’, representing the traditional, top down, bureaucratic, power to the center leadership model. The new model I am advocating for is one in which power is shared and dispersed, so that every voice is heard and everyone leads.
I closed the talk by returning to the elephant. I acquired him on May 5th, 2017 at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. I was attending the last-ever performance of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. It was an historic event –a tipping point in social consciousness. The elephant, who originally helped make the circus and played the star role, ultimately helped end the circus and bring about its demise. But, why? The elephant hadn’t changed…
So, what did change? Human perception changed. The well-being of a handful of elephants had become more important to society that an entire iconic industry—the circus.
This subtle, but super important moment, is a sign of the times and a guide post for business in the 21st Century. The age of the individual is upon us. Corporations must do more than simply serve their own objectives. Specifically, they must become a valued place full of life and growth for the people who work there. If companies focus on advancing the lives of the people who work there, the people who work there will create—in turn—exceptional experiences for customers. In this model, profit actually increases, but it becomes an outcome of a higher calling.
Everyone attending the conference received a copy of Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse in their gift bag.
Thank you for reading and please help spread this blog to others that might like to follow. My next book is coming in the Spring of 2020 and my publisher, Post Hill Press, wants me to grow my blog follower ship in advance! It takes a village to spread ideas and create change. If the ideas I am writing about are of value to you, please think about your own personal network and share the link to this blog and invite them to follow.
Finally, Rosie Freire, the owner of the Singing Horse Trading Post (where I stay at Pine Ridge) drove down to the conference and attended. I was able to introduce her to the audience during my talk as one of my personal heroes in business. What I said about Rosie during the conference and what she thought of the event is the topic for another post, soon to come!
The title of my next book has been finalized and I will share it here with you now…
THE SEVENTH POWER
One CEO’s Journey into the Business of Leadership
Thank you for sharing your voice!
Kevin Hancock, President + CEO
Kevin Hancock’s award-winning book, Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse, on sale for $20/each with FREE shipping, or, BUY 3 GET 1 FREE! Now through 12/31/16. Get your newly released 2nd edition copy with new cover & pictures, signed by the author for the perfect holiday gift! Enter coupon code: BUY3GET1FREE at checkout!
“I read Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse in record time. I simply couldn’t put the book down. Kevin Hancock’s courage in laying out his vision quest so beautifully and humbly is a true inspiration. It is my hope that all business leaders will heed the message that it is possible to care for our souls and our businesses simultaneously. In fact, for true sustainability and health, we must.”
–Christiane Northrup, MD, New York Times best-selling author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, and Goddesses Never Age
“If you had told me a couple of years ago that my friend, Kevin Hancock, would set off on a quest for enlightenment, sparked by a long-distance astrological reading which would lead him to a sweat lodge in a remote Indian reservation well, let’s just say that ‘skeptical’ doesn’t come close to covering it. What happened next is the amazing story Kevin tells here; part history (and not very pleasant history at that), part spiritual journey, part moving portrait of some extraordinary people, and part leadership manual, this fascinating book will touch you and teach you on many levels.”
–Angus S. King Jr., US Senator
“Kevin Hancock’s story touched me, heart and soul. As I read his words, I kept having to chase ‘Amazing Grace’ out of my head. The archetype behind that song–the archetype of awakening and redemption–permeates every chapter. His is the kind of tale that helps restore my faith in human nature–and gives me hope for the human future.”
–Steven Forrest, author of The Inner Sky
Kevin is headed back to Pine Ridge!
On Wednesday June 22nd from 1-3pm, Kevin will make his first stop of the trip at the Devil’s Tower National Monument where he will be on hand to sign books and personally discuss his story with people who are visiting one of the many locations he writes about in his book!
Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse is a unique iconoclastic memoir that traces one businessman’s journey deep into Indian country, and even deeper into his own soul. In a corporate world hallmarked by the never-ending quest for bigger, better, more, this CEO of one of America’s oldest family businesses contemplates an organizational structure where the goal is to do less, not more. In a 24/7 internet- wired world consumed with roles, responsibilities, and external accomplishments, Kevin learns to look inward for meaning and purpose. Through a series of successive, solo trips to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Kevin learns the following powerful lessons:
– We all come from a tribe, and while the pull of the past is strong, the soul is here to individuate.
– Leadership in the new Aquarian Age is about doing less, not more. Those who hold the power often overreach; they go too far.
– Busyness is not living, and personal growth lies in looking inward, not outward.
– The boundaries that have been set to divide people are not real. In the end, we’re all one tribe.
In a modern-day adventure strikingly similar to the ancient Lakota Vision Quest rite, Kevin separates from his own tribe for the purpose of seeking a deeper sense of self. Along the way, Kevin comes to be thankful for the partial loss of his own speaking voice as he learns it was his soul’s way of getting him to stop working, stop leading, stop caretaking. In losing consistent access to his voice, Kevin discovers a pathway, a calling, to strengthening the voices of others, which he uses to think differently about the future of Pine Ridge, the future of Hancock Lumber, and the future of tribes everywhere.
Devil’s Tower is an astounding geologic feature that protrudes out of the rolling prairie surrounding the Black Hills. This site is considered Sacred to the Lakota and many other tribes that have a connection to the area. Hundreds of parallel cracks make it one of the finest traditional crack climbing areas in North America. Devils Tower entices us to explore and define our place in the natural and cultural world.
- Videos now available online! At the 2nd Annual Maine Live on March 24th, 14 speakers shared their stories of integrity, tenacity, and courage. For Kevin Hancock, CEO of Hancock Lumber Company, that story is about losing his voice to a rare neurological disorder and then finding it again after spending time on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. There, he learned an important lesson about power and the individual.“What if we could create an organization where everybody led?Where every voice felt heard, respected, valued, trusted, and empowered?” Watch now.
In addition to Kevin’s message above, here are a few of our favorite reflections from the day: (click here to watch any or all 14 speaker presentations)
- Mark Bessire | Portland Museum of Art: There doesn’t need to be conflict between the traditional and the modern; ideas from both worlds can coexist. There is power in creating meaningful traditions with family, friends, organizations, and communities.
- Jan Kearce | Lift 360: Ask yourself, “What am I a commitment to?”. Embody your purpose. YOU are enough to make it happen. Re-write your story – think about the obituary you’d write for the life you’re leading; now, think about the obituary you’d write for yourself for the life you WANT to lead. Take time to pause and reflect; don’t burn yourself out.
- George Neptune | Abbe Museum: Pass on tradition/language/stories of your tribe, so as to “save it for those not yet born”. Find balance, embrace your two spirits – it is OK to have feet in multiple worlds.
- Steve Malcom | Knickerbocker Group: Spend time “kicking the dirt”…having conversations about the “What ifs” and “Why nots”. Throw rocks (ideas) out there to make ripples and share ideas; it might take time for them to come back and become reality, but get your ideas out there. Take time to listen, really listen and be in the present without judging or making an opinion too quickly. The world is a dynamic place that is ALWAYS changing. Look for those moments to find opportunity.
- Tae Chong | Startmart CEI: Racism is a bad business model. Look at ALL kinds of people as an asset and economic opportunity in a state that is facing a major labor crisis. A few eye opening Maine stats that Tae shared:
- By 2022, 1 in 4 Mainers will be over 65
- 100,000 workers will be needed in Maine in the next 10 years
- 44 Median Age of Mainer
- Maine had more deaths than births in 2015
- Maine is older than Florida
- Maine is the oldest and whitest state
- Beth Shissler | Sea Bags: Sea Bags is green in product and process, sourcing USA materials and keeping manufacturing and jobs in Maine! Look for the FIT in the people you bring to your organization. HR is all about cultural fit.
- Ben Fowlie | Camden Int’l Film Festival: Don’t shy away from difficult topics; leverage the arts to spark local dialogue and create social change.
- Laurie Lachance | Thomas College: “Nia” = purpose. Let your life unfold down an unintentional path, intentionally, and you’ll end up where you’re supposed to be–but, only if you are paying attention during threshold moments. Pay attention. Listen. Stop. Pause. Reflect. Ask yourself, “What are my unique gifts?” and seize the opportunities in front of you.
- Leslie Oster | Aurora Provisions: Slow down and set a place for yourself at the table. Sharing your gifts and passion with the world will only be fulfilling if you put a seat at the table for YOU.
- Sara Shifrin | Gould Academy’s Family Ideas Center: View the library as a room full of ideas, possibilities and thinking – it’s not just a room full of books. Resist the temptation to find solutions; observe, learn, listen, and employ design thinking to bring new ideas to life.
- Yellow Light Breen | Maine Development Foundation: There is a distinct difference between feeling comfortable and fitting in. Sector jargon- “internal languages” – get in the way of making change; ideas matter, people matter, and take time to celebrate success. We all like to be on a winning team.
- Mike Katz | Camp Sunshine: Working with terminally ill children makes one very humbled and reflective. Acts of kindness make a lifelong impact. Volunteer; make a difference!
- Heather Sanborn | Rising Tide Brewery: Ask the ones you love around you what they want to do in life. “A rising tide lifts all boats” – there is such art and meaning behind naming a child, a non-profit, a business that you are passionate about. Think about the community and power in “helping a neighbor”, and leveraging the “spirit of collegiality” — the cooperative relationship of colleagues. A collaborative ethos is best; we are all a part of “Team Maine”!
Mark your calendars! May is a busy month and full of a variety of opportunities to listen to Kevin speak about this about his book and the lessons he learned and applied during his time on the Pine Ridge reservation. Here is a schedule of events:
- Friday 5/6 12:30-2pm: Architects of Tomorrow event at the East Auburn Baptist Church. Kevin will be the keynote speaker for this year’s event, Architects of Tomorrow: Build leaders within your organization. Join us to learn what is takes to become a strong leader who defines the path, clarifies the direction, leads the team and executes the vision. Register today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; $99 Registration, lunch and conference materials included.
- Thursday 5/12 6:30-7:30pm: Author talk & book signing at Falmouth Memorial Library
- Thursday 5/19 5:30-7:30pm: Author talk & book signing at The Mustard Seed Bookstore
- Thursday 5/26 12-2pm: Join members of the business community at a “Lunch and Learn” event at the Scarborough Public Library for an opportunity to discuss Kevin’s book!
Remember to check back often to the upcoming events section of our website, as this list continues to grow. We hope to see you at any or all of these events!
On the cusp of this great opportunity to share an article recently published in the New York Times about Kevin and his book, A Lumber Executive Loses His Voice and Finds Balance, we wanted to share something else too!
A few months back, Kevin shared an excerpt from his book of a written apology to the people of Pine Ridge that both recognized, and apologized for what happened. We were excited to see that almost 500 people felt the same way and were willing to sign our online pledge!
It is our hope that you will continue to share this excerpt with the people around you, because as it was said before, awareness, in and of itself, is a powerful act.
Please visit the apology written by Kevin at the following link:
Here, you can add your name and pass it on!
The New York Times features Kevin Hancock in their March 9th online article titled, “A Lumber Executive Loses His Voice and Finds Balance”.Writer Jennifer Van Allen recounts the past decade and Kevin’s journey – how losing his voice led to a series of unexpected events, ultimately helping Kevin redefine his role as CEO and share power more broadly within the 6th generation, family-owned organization led by its 458 employees. Anyone interested in learning more about leadership, opening oneself up to new ideas and experiences, and living beyond the definition of “roles” should take a look at this article and learn more about Kevin’s book.
What a day when the New York Times features your story! It is an honor to share these opportunities and lessons beyond the state, and connect with like-minded leaders around the country. Pick up your copy of The New York Times tomorrow, March 10th and share in our excitement!
POST WRITTEN BY KOURTNEY MCLEAN
Looking for something fun to do next week? Pick up a copy of Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse and join us at the Bridgton Public Library on Tuesday, 3/8 from 4-6pm when Kevin Hancock will be on hand to discuss his book and sign copies! Books are for sale at the library now, or, the night of the event.
Copies can also be purchased at our newest bookstore in the Portland Museum of Art. While there, check out the amazing exhibit featuring the work of Edward Curtis, now through 5/29, featuring photographs he took while studying to write his book, The North American Indian.
In the upcoming months, Kevin Hancock will be making appearances at the Falmouth Memorial Library, The Mustard Seed Bookstore, Scarborough Public Library, and Raymond Public Library to discuss and sign copies of his book. In addition, you can now find the book at Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick and Maine Coast Books in Damariscotta!
We also wanted to share this exciting review recently posted on Amazon from a reader:
“Kevin has written a very profound and moving book. What appears to be leadership lessons turns out to be a spiritual journey, in its deepest sense. It is personal and authentic, and written with a great style. We ALL can learn from this gifted author.”
Sharing your thoughts help share this story, and we would love to hear your feedback on our Amazon product page. To do so, simply click on the link below, view the customer reviews, and share your own thoughts about the book.
Exciting things are happening as we continue to spread the word about Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse! We are excited to share these updates with you, and share with you some recently added sections to our website!
The book is currently being sold in 17 bookstores in the New England and Dakotas regions and the number continues to grow! Just this week, we added The Book Review Bookstore in Falmouth, Maine to the list. Check out our new “Bookstores” tab to see a complete list of stores now selling the book!
In addition, we have been working to schedule a number of author events to create even more awareness about the book. Bridgton Books, The Good Life Market, the Casco Public Library and the Harrison Public Library have all hosted events, just to name a few. Please check out our events calendar during the upcoming year to see all of the author events taking place.
Here are a couple upcoming events to note:
- Author talk and book signing on Monday February 22nd from 6-7pm at the Auburn Public Library.
- Author talk and book signing on Tuesday March 8th at 4pm at the Bridgton Public Library.
There have been a number of articles in different publications featuring Kevin and his book such as:
- The National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association
- Maine Home + Design
- Lumber Co-Operator
- Prosales Magazine
A full list of these with links to the articles can be found on our website under the “Related Links” tab.
Lastly, we encourage you to check out HR Power Radio to listen to Kevin Hancock discuss his book on the radio show that aired this past Saturday!
We look forward to sending you updates as things continue to happen, and hope you find these exciting new additions to the website helpful!
Hello! I want to share this short essay by Sophie Gregoire that my daughter Abby shared with me this morning!
I want to share this great, short video. It summarizes what happened in just 20 years after wolves were reintroduced to the Yellowstone ecosystem. This story reinforces the Lakota view of the interconnectedness of all living creatures. Balance is nature’s optimal state. This also makes me think of human organizations and how easily they can fall out of balance if the needs of certain groups of individuals within the organization are neglected or excluded. It takes every member of the tribe to achieve optimal balance in a community (be it a reservation, a company, a state, a nation or a planet).
Mitakuye Oyasin (“All things are one thing.” “We are all related.”)
I spoke today at the annual Maine Youth Leadership Conference (MYL) (www.maineyouthleadership.org). MYL is one of my favorite organizations. Each year it brings 10th grade “ambassadors” from every high school in Maine to come together for a program of leadership development, social tolerance and personal exploration. For the past two years I have given the Friday morning talk to the group, during which I have shared my learnings and adventures at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
My talk explores five themes:
- Overreaching. Those who hold the power in organizations often over reach. They go too far. Overreaching has consequences. The conquest of the tribes of the Great Plains during America’s western expansion is one such example (from which there are still communities among us trying to recover).
- We all come from a tribe. We all come from a tribe (family, neighborhood, community, region). Our tribes pull on us all to act a certain way and to do certain things. But we are all here on this earth to individuate; we are all here to hear our own callings and become the person our soul wants to be.
- When we serve ourselves we strengthen our tribe. In this respect, being selfish is selfless for when we find the people, places and activities that truly inspire us we give the most back to the world we live in.
- When it comes to leadership, less is more. In my talk, I share my story of losing my voice to Spasmodic Dysphonia (SD). SD is a rare voice disorder that restricts speech. I acquired the disorder in 2009. Sometimes I can talk freely. Sometimes I can’t. SD forced me lead differently and that turned out to be a blessing. I have since come to believe that every CEO should lose his or her voice, at least for a time. When you lose your voice, as the leader of an organization you…listen more, ask questions, pick your spots more carefully and share the leadership stage with others. I have since become passionate about creating organizations where everyone leads and strengthening the voices of every member of the tribe (be it Hancock Lumber or Pine Ridge).
- Mitakuye Oyasin. Mitakuye Oyasin is a Lakota phrase that means “we are all related”. This concept lives at the center of Lakota spirituality and it has scientific principles supporting it. Lakota philosophy believes that all things that live, have lived or shall live are related as everything that lives come from and returns to the earth. All living things are comprised of the same elements and particles. From the earth to the earth. It is in this way, for example, that the Lakota viewed the buffalo as their “four legged brothers”. I have come to believe that Mitakuye Oyasin is a hidden revelation for our planet. Once rediscovered, the idea changes the way people view the world. The boundaries we see all around us are actually artificial, not real. In the end, we are all one tribe even though we have convinced ourselves otherwise.
During my talk I told the students at MYL that after the Lakota were defeated in the 1870’s, they were sequestered out of the way on a series of remote reservations. For the next three generations, American public policy was to “remake” the Indians so they could live successfully in the white world. Children were removed from their homes (well into the 1950’s and 1960’s) and sent off to unforgiving Indian boarding school to be remade. Their hair was cut, their dress was changed, their language and customs were forbidden. They were conquered then colonized. The effects of this overreaching are still being felt as the reservations on the Northern Plains are to this day among the poorest and most self-destructive places in America. In elementary school we are taught that “Columbus discovered a new world” but people already lived here.
My experiences at Pine Ridge have shown me that the people who live there have all the skills and talents necessary rise above the transgressions of the past and to soar like their ancestors. No one needs to save or fix them. At the same time, the people who live there need to feel recognized, acknowledged and respected. “They don’t even know we are here,” is a common theme I hear at Pine Ridge.
At the conclusion of my talk, the program coordinators made me wait as a group of students went out in the hall. A few moments later they returned with dozens of back packs and school supplies they had organized for me to send to Pine Ridge as a gesture that says “you are not forgotten”. People cried, smiled and celebrated. A short while later, my Jeep was loaded with backpacks.
A guy from a lumber company in Maine and a group of 10th graders from the same state were together reaching out to the people of Pine Ridge saying…we are all related…you are respected…you are not forgotten…be well…go forth in peace.
So cool, I thought to myself as I drove away. Nowhere in my “job description” at our main office in Casco does it say I am supposed to be talking to students at MYL or increasing awareness at Pine Ridge. We all need to listen for our callings and not lose ourselves in the 24/7 churn of “bigger, better, more”. It’s all one tribe and each person on this planet is here to individuate and find their own true path.