Leadership is all about showing that it can be done

A big part of Echo it is about leadership. In the sense that you often hear the suggestion that doing good is too hard and takes too much effort. On Echo.it you can lead by example to show other people a good example in yourself. So when you echo your deeds and inspire others you are showing clear leadership.

I recently looked around the web for examples of leadership by the example among the people who have decided to spend their life wanting to lead us; i.e. politicians. I did not find many… Maybe they are too busy managing us to lead by example, but be that as it may, there is always something you can do and the best example I found is Republican congressman and internet-darling Ron Paul.

Even with no direct incentive he decided to save on his office spending sending $141,580 of unspent office funds back to the US Treasury.  This represents just over 9% of the total office funds, and an increase over the $100,000 returned last year. Impressive!

Now I am a net taxpayer in the most expensive welfare state with laws on close to every human choice, so I believe I should always be skeptical of people using my money, especially those not given voluntary. However I would be a little less skeptical if they were more like Ron Paul here.

In a company you’re driven by margins to always be more efficient. That aspect is absent from government, so it must become a personal responsibility to spend resources more efficient.

So if you are a politician, do a good deed and hand over some of which ever small faction of the taxpayer income you are directly responsible for and show leadership. Try to set target to be more efficient and handover even more next year. Every little counts, right?

If you are like me and not a politician, try to look around for projects where you are entrusted with the funds of others, and see if you, even with no direct personal incentive, can be more efficient and spent less of other people funds and still solve whatever task you set out to solve.

Ok, after this reading you will say I am very likely social liberal and fiscally conservative, which means that most hated outcast called a libertarian. Go ahead, I don’t mind name calling aimed at me if it makes you feel better – it is your right after all.

PS: Punk rock trivia of the day: Fletcher Dragge of Pennywise support Ron Paul. Below are them during a Ramones cover to brighten your day.

Thank you for reading this and have a nice day.


This charming man – RARE Original!

I was in London last week and had a blast – unfortunately I also attracted a cold and a big hole in my wallet. I got a ton of inspiration, and I guess it will slowly creep its way into this blog too. However, I will write a quick urgent post before my fever calls me back to bed. It relates to a great record – one I wanted for a long time – that I did not buy; because as happy as it would make me feel, I am sure somebody out there would be even happier to find it, and if I took it home, it would ruin it for that person.

 

Now the record I am talking about is the second single by the greatest band ever, The Smiths. Released in October 1983 on Rough Trade, and numerous times since, the song is a favorite of mine from my DJing years – Yes, I like Francois Kevorkian version a bit better than the original. To those of you that don’t know it, I am not the only lover of its both quirky and vulnerable sound; Mojo magazine journalists placed the track at number one on their 2008 “50 Greatest UK Indie Records of All Time” feature.

I still collect records. Not religiously as I used to, but enough to make sweet Katja sigh once in while when I go off on a rant about some old Northern Soul single or a UK original The 4-Skins album I just tracked down. So imagined when I found the pearl pictured above in this post! My joy, my excitement, my near erection! It was located at Out On the Floor records (a refrence to amazing Dobie Gray I guess) located @ 10 Inverness Street in Camden London. I am telling you this, because I did not buy it, and it is still there to pick up. Now the thing about The Smiths is that they really performed songs that can save lives. ‘nuff said! So I figured not to pick of this sought after gem, I decided that I was happy enough in order to let it slide to someone else who’s life it might potentially save. Btw: The record sleeve features a still frame from Jean Cocteau’s 1949 film Orphée, featuring French actor Jean Marais (thank you, Wikipedia).

 So there you go! And here is the song to brighten up your day:

 

 PS: I do hope Cardiff fan Ryan Oliver who fell down at Saturdays game against my beloved lions at Millwall will get a full recovery. What an unfortunate way to almost get killed at football, ehh? Makes you think.

Have a great day and thank you for taking the time to read this.


Echo it… a day in…

Hello everybody… Yesterday my friends and I took a great chance. We finally released our little baby Echo it out into its beta teens.

So far the response has been great. Especially for an awkward teenager making its first attempt at the dancefloor that is the www. We have gotten great feedback and the sign-ups and views are growing by the minute – without having yet done any proactive PR or media stuff yet (but a big shout of thanks goes to all those lovely people spreading it by themselves).

We have great plans with echo it, but Rome was not build in a day, but if our faithful users will give us that much sought after gem: “Patience”, I promise that the site will keep improving rapidly.

The best part is all the good deeds being done out there: here are just three of my favs:

Peter Løndahl Søndergaard echoed: The other night I was sitting alone in the Metro when three dressed up ladies around 70 sat down around me. I told them: “It’s always nice to be surrounded by such lovely young girls”. They all laughed and were one big smile. I think it made their day :) #Elderly

Kim Hildebrandt echoed: Helped a women get her wallet that she lost on the platform getting on the train

Mathias Vestergaard echoed: just sent supportive emails to a friend going through a tough divorce…

And a fourth special mentioning goes to:

Mazaurette echoed: I let the guy at the airport security check my boobs a bit more than necessary, because I thought it would make his day.

PS: Read her great blog sexactu here

Oh yeah, and have you seen this:

Nicki Brøchner echoed: Last Saturday I made a video reminding people about what is at the core of the hardships in the Middle east, we should all hope for a New tomorrow in the Middle East.

You can see his great efforts below:

See more at echo it right now! I can’t stop feeling good about all the niceness!


Thank you Mike!

One of the most important things about being innovative is that you constantly have to challenge yourself. A method to this that I use is to at least once a week do something I don’t normally do. It is not always nice, but always rewarding. Mike, the tech lead at Echo it has a great concept for this. A concept that he was kind enough to share with me last Friday. Once a month he design a tour of parties, bars and clubs that he does not normal frequent. That surely is a great idea, because it forces you to meet and talk to people who are outside your normal world a bit. Think about that for a second. Most of us get up, kiss our loved ones, get in the car and drive to work where we spend hours with the same people we see every day and then we drive home to our families. There is nothing per say wrong with this, but try to think about when was the last time you had a conversation with a stranger? So this is a party report from The Weird Party Patrol, hey ho, lets go! I hope Mike’s idea spreads. Such effort to entertain your friends and meet new people is surely awe-inspiring!

We started with a chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot in Mike’s downtown Copenhagen apartment and set out some challenges for us for the night. Anders should ask why a random person did not feel like wearing green that day. I was to ask how a strangers mom was getting along. Nice friendly questions to ask strangers.

The next stop Mike managed to build up nicely. He told us the place was members-only and that we had to be quiet and attentive. Scary… We thought he was taken us to a sect, so the laughs was high when we pulled up in front of a bingo hall. That was surprisingly funny. We met some nice people and I even won 250 DKK! Thank you, Jytte for helping me out.

Next place was a down and out bar in Valby. A truly authentic place. I won’t say the name because then the Copenhagen hipster scene will all over this pearl in no time and that would likely ruined it for the locals. I loved the place because they still had 47-brand beer  (best ever)! And we got a sneak peak at the challenger to the Iphone.

From here we went to Damhuskroen. All people in Copenhagen will realize the gravity of that statement. Nuff said.

We met many nice people who gave us stuff. Here Mike is holding the Chocolate winnings Jytte gave us (we shared it with many others). Also pictured is the hot girl who wanted to share kisses.

The last stop of the evening was Faust, a downtown goth bar. Some of the girls there had more tattoos than me. Nice.

All in all a great evening! Thank you Mike for putting that together! And thanks to all the people who showed us a great time on our trip.

Have a nice day. I am happy you took the time to read this.


Letting in traffic squared

I drive a lot. Mainly to and from work. This means I drive a lot in rush hour traffic. In a mayor European capital to boost. Anybody who does this, knows that you are hard pressed not to ones in a while rely on the kindness of strangers in letting you into a exit lane that you missed. Anybody with an ounce of humanity in them will understand the urgency of this need; because if a kind soul does not let you in front them, the resulting detour will easy cost you half an hour, while letting you in will cost the kind stranger 30 secs (that is still not a price to be ignored or devalued… I did in fact steal/was gifted them from someone now worse off).

First off; A BIG FREAKING THANK YOU! to all that have ever let me in front of them. You rule! Please believe me when I say that I feel really grateful and spent a lot of energy the rest of day trying to repay the universe the Karma I must owe for this gesture of friendliness from a stranger. Not least, because I always feel bad that maybe you thought I was trying to cheat my way ahead, and still you saw passed that and properly figured that if I did indeed try to cheat you can still spare me the 30 secs if that makes me somehow better off. Wow!

Now here is my question to you dear reader however. And please help, cos I am lost here. If you have been let in by a kind driver, are you then suppose to also let in someone in front of you if this need materializes?

Are you compelled to continue the precise nice gesture shown to you? Let the spirit of the act ignite new ones?

Or, are you now obliged to be the bad guy and make sure no one gets let in front of you, and thereby the kind person behind you? I mean you did just take 30 sec from the driver behind you, who are you to make that a minute? Two? Ten?

Have a nice day. I am happy you took the time to read this and maybe help solve the issue.


Superhero saves Copenhagen’s Metro seats

I am happy right now. My good friends Maja and Matte have come back from, what feels like a decade in, Australia. Thanks for that, especially since they came home the same day Henrik Hall died which made me sad. Anyway, they had a very hyggelig get-back-get-together at their local pub Viking with a lot of their friends. At this party I talked to another friend of mine, Peter The Hulk, about my passion for good deeds and how I genuinely believe the world can be nicer with only little thought and effort from each individual. He agreed and told me a little story that I want to share here – Because I want to do my little part to help his cause and it is damn inspiring.

Copenhagen has a Metro. It is fairly new and apparently best in the world. In that metro are fixed seats but also flip down seats. Peter The Hulk rides this Metro everyday and have noticed people almost jump falls into these and when they arrive at their station just gets up causing the seat to ricochet hard into to the sidewall. This makes a lot of noise for other passengers, and as Peter The Hulk has noticed; more and more of these seats seems to be broken, very likely contributing to raising ticket fairs.

Peter The Hulk has now started a small change campaign of his own. He always put a hand behind his back and gently pulls the seat down when setting down, and gently back up when he is done using its seating functionality in order to show leadership and an good example. He has also started telling people he meets to please treat the seats nicely. He has taken it one step further too – He now instinctively places a hand on the seat of people next to him about to get up, so that he can place the seat orderly for them. That is amazing! It makes Peter The Hulk my personal superhero of flip down seats!

I wanted to share this story because it shows that in order to improve the world you need to notice the little things, and if the world at large sucks at noticing that particular little thing, you must take action yourself and not just complain over noisy seats and ever-raising ticket fairs.

Thanks to Katja for taking this picture :-)

Have a nice day. I am happy you took the time to read this.


I feel so extraordinary part 2

Remember the story of my friend oversleeping? There is a further twist to that. As I was driving and listening to New Order I contemplated one of my life’s principles: Only blame yourself. The thing is that the world do fuck you up from time to time, and you do meet idiots who are out to destroy faith in humanity with their deceit and dishonesty, but for the most part, bad things that happen to you are either the result of your own actions or life choices, and most can be avoided with a strategy of ends and means and a general positive attitude towards the world. Even if it is one of those rare times when the sun blows up or somebody really does you over, how is blaming them advancing your day? I try to learn what I can, count my losses (it is called sunk cost in economics), lick my wounds and survey the situation to find the most positive path forward (this is what economists call opportunity cost). All this, while trying to smile and keep happy, if only for my own sake.

Now, my friend in the story… He was angry from oversleeping, and decided to try to make it better by blaming me. Rightly or wrongly does not matter here. Because what does that achieve? Will he conclude that I cannot be trusted, or maybe generally mistrust people? How is the mental energy spent on blame, finding excuses, and felling like a victim forwarding his needed next step to remedy the situation he is currently in? Maybe I was wrong to remove the snow from his car to help him. Maybe I should have supported his desire to blame and taken a confrontation with him? Just to make him happy by validating his belief. But you know what… A good deed is not always what people want or even need. Sometimes it has to do with principles. It was his choice to let the start of the day ruin the rest of it, but I would not allow him to take my day with him to the trash. So I do not support people crying over sunk cost even if they want to, because I know it is not lowering opportunity cost and is hence not helping them, me or the world. So yeah, I feel so extraordinary. Something’s got a hold on me. I get this feeling I’m in motion…

Have a nice day. I am happy you took the time to read this.


I feel so extraordinary part 1

This is just a short story about the greatness of placing doing good deeds and general decency top of mind.

A short while back I was spending the night at the house of a close friend of mine. Now, he normally gets up at 5.30 in order to commute to work. He is normally kind enough to knock on the door the room I sleep in at 5.45 which gives me time to hit the gym before work – if the workload allows.

Now this specific morning I woke by myself at 6.08. The house was all quite and still. Normally it is bussing with TV newscaster audio and breakfast consumption. I had a heavy workload in front of me that day but decided to view the quiet morning as a blessing and take it easy; A nice long shower and not stressing with the breakfast too much. I did wonder why my friend and his wife were not up. In retrospect maybe I should have knocked on their bedroom door. I didn’t, because knowing my friend had been sick for a week I thought maybe he had decided to stay home and sleep in, and who was I to disturb him? Besides I heard voices when I was showering, so I thought it was ok. Instead I took his dog out in the yard to have a wee. After that I ate my breakfast and was about to head out when I hear my friend getting up. He was very angry with me for not waking him up. Well… The old me would have taken up that confrontation and tried to explain that 1) I thought he was up. 2) That as happy as I am for his assistance in waking me, I do also have an alarm clock since getting up in the morning is ultimately an individual responsibility and all that…But I decided to let it slide. I understood his frustration, and I did not want to continue the start of my day with a confrontation. So I smiled and wished him a nice day and went out to my car. It turned out that it had snowed doing the night. While removing the ice from my car windows I decided to do the same for my friend. I also decided to tell him that I had done it. See, as cool as he is, he is the kind of person not to notice something like this, and I wanted to cheer him up with the deed.

Having done this I got in my car. I felt great. Heck, I felt better than great. Listening to my car stereo I got the word for what I felt; extraordinary. The stereo was playing True Dub by New Order from the Hacienda Classic Acid House compilation (Isn’t it amazing that there exists a category such as “classic acid house”?… I love progress) complied by the legendary Peter Hook. The song is a remix of True Faith, which is about being hooked on drugs. Now doing small good deeds is kind of like that for me right now… You think about it all the time because it makes you feel good. It is selfish in its own way little way. Love it.

Have a nice day. I am happy you took the time to read this.


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