By Anne Lundquist, Cloquet Public Library

I enjoyed the ARSL conference very much. Thank you to Arrowhead for helping to make my trip possible!

Jodee Bock’s keynote speech “Own Your Story” helped to set a positive,reflective tone at the conference. One book that she spoke highly of is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill first published in 1937. Hill interviewed numerous people, both the successful and the unsuccessful, over the course of 20 years for his book.

Next Bock discussed the difference between Interest vs. Intention vs. Commitment. She urged us to answer the question, to what are you committed?  She said that interested means no action, intention is action until a setback/discomfort.  Commitment is what you do no matter what. Another quote Bock shared is, “What other people think of you is none of your business. Your reputation does not belong to you, but your character (how you act in the world) does.” I think that quote is incredibly freeing and can help me to think about being proactive and creative in the world, rather than being a victim to the thoughts of others.

Throughout her speech, Bock urged us to be proactive and creative,rather than being stuck in reactive victim mode. To drive this point home, she discussed the book Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott and 7 Levels of Energy which was thought up by Bruce Schnieder in his book Energy Leadership:

Transforming Your Workplace and Your Life From Your Core. To have fierce, authentic, productive conversations, we can think about the question, What am I pretending not to know? Bock also gave an illustration of the concept that pushing often equals more resistance. She invited a member of the audience to come up and hold up her hand. Bock pushed against the hand. The audience member pushed back without conscious thought.  Instead of pushing, Bock suggested that we have conversations that ask questions and that invite participation and dialogue instead of resistance.

Schnieder’s 7 Levels of Energy, from lowest to highest, are:

  1. Victim
  2. Anger
  3. Responsibility…”if it is to be, it is up to me”
  4. Compassion
  5. Peace…”it is what it is” Breathe through it.
  6. Joy
  7. Passion…when we are in gratitude and are connected to our innate gifts.

Throughout her talk, Bock recommended that participants think about success and failure in a possible new way.  “Everything that happens now, happens for me, not to me.”  She said that first the universe gives us a Message then if we get a Lesson, if we still do not listen then a Problem, then a Crisis.

Another  quote I liked was one from Einstein, “The significant problems  we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” Other books mentioned in Bock’s talk were Loving What Is by Byron Katie and QBQ: The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability  at Work and In Life by John Miller. These are all great books to read as the New Year draws closer and we and our patrons begin to think about personal transformation.