Developing An Elevator Pitch Via Zombies, Girl Scouts And A Ping-Pong Ball

Sometimes, inspiration takes on a life of its own.

I was in the midst of a makeover for Below The Salt News and trying to come up with a few nifty phrases to explain the “who am I, and what is this website about,” when I starting reading Bob Mayer’s The Green Beret Survival Guide — for the Apocalypse, Zombies & Lesser Disasters.  It’s an invaluable nonfiction resource and “how to” on analyzing, evaluating and planning for just about any situation or emergency imaginable.

Force Multipliers
cc: Dennis Mojado

When I came to the words “Force Multiplier” my reading lurched to a stop as if a zombie rose up and turned on a light inside my head.

F-o-r-c-e M-u-l-t-i-p-l-i-e-r.  OMG!  This is me.  This is what I’m about.  This is what I want BELOW THE SALT NEWS to be about — celebrating creativity and change and the positive energy forces of people and ideas!

I am a Force Multiplier!

“If a disaster struck, whom would you want at your side …  the overwhelming choice would be a Special Forces Green Beret.  Someone trained in survival, medicine, weapons, tactics, communications, engineering, counter-terrorism, tactical and strategic intelligence and with the capability to be a force multiplier.”

(Bob Mayer, The Green Beret Survival Guide pg.5 )

So, okay, I’m not exactly Bob Mayer’s special forces kind of force multiplier.  I am not a Green Beret.  And I don’t have a military background…

BUT — I was in the girl scouts growing up.  Their motto is always “be prepared.”  The job of a Girl Scout is “to be ready to help out wherever needed and… to know how to do the job well — even in an emergency!”  We earned badges as Citizen, Cook, First Aid, Naturalist, etc.  We even wore  a “Green Beret!”

Yes!  I am a Force multiplier!

“Special Forces was founded under the concept of being a force multiplier—of teaching others …During Special Forces training, a strong emphasis is placed on being able to pass on the skills learned to others.”

~~  Bob Mayer, What Can You Learn From Special Operations Forces ? Spec Ops post 6

Yes!  BELOW THE SALT NEWS is about — sharing knowledge and helping others to do more, better!   We are force multipliers!  Hurrah!

After a little thought, I realized just about everyone and everything qualifies as a force multiplier.  A nurse is a force multiplier of a doctor — and the patient.  A hammer is a force multiplier of a carpenter.  Hurtful words are force multipliers of an angry person.  A library is a force multiplier for learning …

Well, you get the idea.  There are positive and negative force multipliers, intentional and unintentional force multipliers, animate and inanimate…  So many multipliers that my force multiplier zombie got lost in the crowd and my big ah-ha moment faded into the dusty back recesses of my mind.

But then, a few weeks ago, I read a blog post by Dan Rockwell (aka Leadership Freak) talking about how “positives whisper while negatives shout.”   He shared an observation from Kathy Cramer, of The Cramer Institute and author of Lead Positive, that explained his point:

“our negativity bias invites us to see and respond more intensely to problems than possibilities.”

Exactly what the current news media exemplifies all too well.  Good news gets a happy dance.  Bad news gets everyone jumping on their horses a whooping  and a hollering and tracking down and analyzing every detail — real or imagined —  for weeks on end.

And not that I think everyone should be eternally optimistic or go charging at a full gallop in every direction, but let’s be honest, positives just don’t get the respect they deserve.  And that, is exactly what I wanted to change with BELOW THE SALT NEWS.

Kathy goes on to explain how she taught herself to counter negativity with Asset-Based Thinking.

“ABT [Asset-Based Thinking] is more than pie-in-the-sky pretending. It’s a decision to identify and maximize what’s good, right, powerful, and effective.ABT isn’t ignoring problems. It’s addressing them from an asset orientation rather than deficit”

A little light went off in my brain.  Yes!  Asset-Based Thinking — this is me!  This is BELOW THE SALT NEWS.

While Kathy’s phrase “Asset-Based Thinking” was new to me, the evaluative, positive thinking process she described was not.  Seeing possibilities and giving recognition to the much needed positive solutions and ideas that add value to our lives is what I was trying to do and what I created BTSN to be about.

The words “Asset-Based Thinking” began ricochetting through my brain like an out of control ping-pong ball.

Dan and Kathy are right.  Positive, asset-based thinking doesn’t just magically happen.   Positive thinking, like negative thinking, is made to happen by the forces we choose to multiply in any given situation.  The point of BELOW THE SALT NEWS is to celebrate the positive energy expenders with as much whooping and hollering as can be mustered.

Suddenly the ricochetting “Asset-Based Thinking” hit the dusty corner of my mind and my “Force Multiplier” zombie lurched out and caught the ping-pong ball.

O-M-G!  I believe in Asset-Based Thinking and I am a Force Multiplier.  Therefore…

I am… BELOW THE SALT NEWS is — a Force Multiplier of Asset-Based Thinking, celebrating the doers, creators and ideas that add value to our lives!

Hurrah!  I now had my elevator pitch!

But even as I started to do my little happy dance, I remembered something else Bob Mayer said — to be most effective, you need a team of force multipliers working together…

So, ah….

“Hi!   I’m a Force Multiplier of Asset-based Thinking — and I’m looking for a posse…”

Anyone??  Bueller?


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