Heard Mark Scharenbroich at the recent MASSP Winter Conference held last month in Minneapolis and recalled when he was invited to speak to area National Honor Society representatives at Proctor High School back when I was an administrator there. Still motivating others, Mark has a new book out and it struck a chord with me so I bought it.
He speaks about driving a beige Ford Taurus rental car amidst thousands of Harley-Davidson bikers on the road to Milwaukee one week in August 2003 and "really wanting a Harley!" It was the 100-year anniversary celebration and Milwaukee is the home of Harley-Davidson. As a Harley owner at that event, two words from a passerby would make their weekend: "Nice Bike!" Scharenbroich's tenet for the book is that this phrase is more than a casual compliment, but actually takes on the energy to "acknowledge, honor, and connect with others."
Sharenbroich goes on to share many chapters of examples when "Nice Bike" is proffered to people and agencies as great examples when this has occurred. Dutch Cragun, St. Paul Tech teacher Mr. Gerads, a graduate of Orono High School Tim Cashin, Fresh Seasons grocery store owner Dale Riley, famous piano player Lori Line's husband Tim, his parents Aggie and Nubs, plus other people and places that Mark's journey intersects create short stories that exemplify three powerful actions that transform every day occurrences into positive, powerful events.
- Acknowledge. Nice Bike helps to heighten awareness of others and fuels your passion to serve them.
- Honor. Nice Bike honors people by recognizing what's important to them - which often differs from what's important to you.
- Connect. Nice Bike connects you with others, creating a bond - large or small - that makes a difference in someone's life.
The fact that so many of the vignettes included are recognizable to this Minnesotan and so many include examples that occur in every school we ever worked for, makes this read truly touching. Hang 1,000 stars with every student's name exhibited, and not just the athletes going to the tournament this week. Answer the question "How are you?" with "Great!" and not just "Fine." Replace the words "No Problem" after someone thanks you with "My Pleasure." Work at being more interested than interesting. Say thanks more often and more authentically.
The book gives many ideas that can be put into action immediately to create a more cohesive team and a more connected climate in your place of work AND your family. Look for all the times you can acknowlege, honor, and connect at home, at work, and out in the community! See how many times you can say your equivalent of "Nice Bike!" and make someone else's day great as you become more fully engaged in your life.
"Nice Bike, Mark Scharenbroich, in helping to remind us to be making connections on the road of life, both personally and professionally!"
"Nice Bike, MASA staff and members, for your efforts to provide the best education for our kids in Minnesota. Keep up the great work!"