After-Action Report: RVM #41 with Jeff Heely

Many thanks to Jeff Heely (USNA ’77) for his story this evening! And I use that word deliberately: tonight, Jeff presented us with a series of stories about stories, and used them to illustrate both the power of story and some techniques for telling them effectively.

Some key early takeaways:

  • Sometimes fiction wins out over truth. “The dog went to live on a farm” is an easier story to tell than “the dog received a lethal injection.” We all know what really happened.
  • Sometimes truth is better than fiction! Every once in a while, the dog really did go live out his days on a farm. It is never too late to tell that story!
  • A good story draws a lesson from disaster... but a great story leaves you thankful it happened that way. I envy that unnamed Californian his swimming pool full of unlabeled wine bottles!
  • Brevity is a superpower. We’ll just have to invite Jeff back to do it again! 😀

I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.

Blaise Pascal, Lettres Provinciales, 1657

It was also very cool to hear about Officers Eat Last and Plus One. These are powerful concepts on their own: our oath of office never expires… and there is room for positive contribution beyond simply doing no harm. Put the two of them together, and it seems to me that you have the seed for a powerfully positive vision.

What does it mean? Probably above my paygrade. But when Jeff and his fellow travelers figure it out, I’ll be on hand with my sleeves rolled up and my boots on!

In Other News…

We’ve opened up Groups to RINGKNOCKER Members! Previously only Subscribers were able to join Groups, but now Members can join any existing Group… you’ll see there are Groups for the Army, Navy, and other services, as well as each of the service academies. Note that RINGKNOCKER Subscribers can create their OWN groups! I’m hoping you folks will find interesting ways to use those.

We’ve added video clips to your user profiles! Many of you have received an email from me after a Meetup asking permission to use a clip of you on the YouTube channel, but frankly those were always a little hard to find. Well, if you’ve got one, now you can find your entire personal playlist right at the bottom of your user profile! You’ll see video thumbnails and descriptions of each, and you can play or share them right there from your profile, without even leaving the RINGKNOCKER site!

We added a Job Board to the website! This one came as a total surprise… in the two weeks since we launched the site I’ve had a big handful of people ask me if there’s a way to share a job opportunity on the site. Well, there is now! Any RINGKNOCKER Member can search and apply for jobs, and any RINGKNOCKER Subscriber can post a new one!

Let’s talk about RINGKNOCKER Subscriptions. In addition to the stuff just mentioned, RINGKNOCKER Subscribers have access to the full video of every call, along with my notes, clips, and everything else you usually get in the email follow-ups… but right there on the web page and MUCH easier to use than clicking back & forth between your email and YouTube. Any RINGKNOCKER can post to the public activity feeds on the site, but RINGKNOCKER Subscribers can also message people privately, send friend requests, and much more! So if you see RINGKNOCKER as a resource to help you expand and activate your professional network—and I hope you do!—please give a RINGKNOCKER Subscription a try. You won’t regret it!

Oh, just to make it super easy… there’s a free trial, no credit card required. Takes less than a minute to activate. Upgrade now and see for yourself!

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