Knight Rider – Carlos Diaz

Everyone has their dark unhealthy obsessions.

Mine is Knight Rider……. Don’t judge.

Today I met a Chilean Hoff, an actor by profession as well.
A young loner by the name of Carlos Diaz.

The opening lines of the show fuel my passion to make a difference in this world: “Knight Rider. A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law”. I may say this on the way to work every day – don’t you judge me!

How is Carlos like Michael?

Yes he has good hair – but he’s on a personal crusade to help the land of his birth in what has been a pretty much overlooked tragedy in Chile – a devastating earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale. The 7th most powerful earthquake ever recorded worldwide and the worst national Chilean disaster in over 50 years. Damage to infrastructure was extensive and many towns were almost completely destroyed by the earthquake or both the earthquake and tsunami related waves that crashed inland on coastal towns. Five months after the quake, thousands are still homeless and homes need to be built to get them back on their feet and out of the current cold winter months.

Like the great and wondrous Hoff, Carlos is going big.

He’s already raised over $7,000 and he’s going to hit $40,000 with your help on July 21. Not only that but after his event he’s going to GO to Chile and film a documentary about the event and what our funds are doing to help.

Check out his site and the event.

View a short video of clips by some celebs supporting the event.

Join us and be there on July 21! It’s going to be a fun evening!

Because one person, CAN make a difference. And today that person is you.

Ps. I tripped onto Carlo’s show on Showcase. An American show called “Rent-A-Goalie“. Funny stuff.

Now that’s a day job.

Two Fundraisers – Trading Places?! What is professional courage…

What is courage?

One of my favourite quotes states that “courage is not the ability to ignore or not feel fear but the ability to acknowledge that something else is more important”.

On my networking travels I meet peers of incredible courage.

Two such people remind me of one of my favourite movies of all time.

A film virtually no one has ever seen. It stars a few big names, includes a big ship like the Titanic, incredible music ( not that symphonic garbage ) – Jazz and Big Band.

The Legend of 1900. If you haven’t seen it, watch this.

And then go rent it. ( Then tell me what you thought )

What is professional courage?

The character in this movie can’t leave the ship he’s born on.

I have a ton of networking courage, but I just can’t leave this city I love.

These two fundraisers, who I have a ton of respect and warmth towards are making big moves. In fact….they’re trading places!

Paul Thorne and Kelly Trickett have paid their dues in the fundraising world.
They are professionals, through and through.

Paul in the world of annual and major giving. He’s a Linchpin by every definition of the word (and holds a dark secret – he’s a Jedi master of Microsoft Excel. A most coveted talent in any sector ). Paul will soon travel to Vancouver from Toronto.

Kelly in the planned giving world is walking gold. She’s not only paid her dues as a fundraiser but has that rare experience managing estates and the many vehicles that mystify so many peers. Kelly will soon travel to Toronto from Vancouver.

They both have some prospects in their designated landing cities but I’d much rather someone in my network steal these two sharp, thoughtful, strategic and frankly stellar human beings before they get lost in big shops.

Will you be that smart charity?

Funny story, I haven’t introduced them to each other. Until now.

Kelly, meet Paul T. Paul T meet Kelly.

You are two courageous professionals. I have told you before that I admire and derive courage just from knowing about your brave leaps.

If you don’t know these two, help me to welcome them when they hit your town.

Until then, I’ll continue my adventures in networking. You go watch 1900.

Why AREN’T you using Zipcar?

These two cards allow you to rule the city of Toronto!

So it’s no secret that I use and love Zipcar

I haven’t paid for gas for work and a lot of fun since 2006.

You say the HST increases the price of gas?
Not my concern.

Being on a Metropass instead of tokens is a way of life. Jumping on and off the subway for meetings, shopping, going out and at any time walking up to a car when I need one and driving has been liberating.

Been thinking about it? Take the quiz… is Zipcar for me?

Or of course, send me an email or call me and I would be happy to answer all your questions about how this program has improved my quality of life.

Here’s a little secret too. Yes you’re saving money. Yes you’re helping the environment. BUT! Have I had a blast driving brand new smartcar, prius, mini, mustang convertible, bmw, and every great sedan on the market? Heck yeah! They’re always clean and I don’t have to maintain them. For those of you who use cars to visit clients, donors or for work, this is the program for you.

Now, I’m not going to bore you with the story, but in June, I had a car accident where I could have easily died. I was in a Zipcar. Although I’m still dealing with the mortality issues of the accident – the Zipcar insurance process was unbelievable. In fact for just $70 a car my damage deductible is $0. Yes it’s true. I had the unfortunate opportunity to test it.

I’m all about customer service. I hold the companies that take my hard earned cash to a high standard and the GOLD standard has been Zipcar for years. You simply cannot understand the kind of service you get until you join or call.

Now, ok, for those “family folks” I know it’s hard with family but why not dump the second car?

We love our car, in fact I bought it because I used originally as a Zipcar ( it’s Canada’s smallest, most fuel efficient and fun to drive Microvan ) – the Mazda 5

If you have a young family, watch this video and understand.

You can’t fit an infant car seat in a sedan and still enjoy driving!

Now the payoff. What if joining was free? It’s $30 to apply but if you use my personal referral ( I hope this button below works, otherwise email me ) you get a $50 credit!

Join Zipcar and get $50 in free driving!

Change your life today. Join Zipcar.

What does “U invited U” mean?

I’m seeking – warriors of light.

When I seek people out, make time for them and especially when I run events
people often say to me “thanks for including me” or “thanks for inviting me”.

I respond every time. “You’re welcome – but I didn’t invite you”.

YOU invited YOU“.

Here’s how I vet invitations to my events.
I have an excel spreadsheet of all my LinkedIn and offline contacts. About 1000 people.

They’re already sorted by level of connection and affiliations. But all start on the same footing.

Then. I let them fight it out.
Who have I witnessed being inhuman to another this past year?
Who fights for results?
Who fights for themself and invests in themselves with out ego?
Who am I a little afraid of because they’re more passionate than me?
Who teaches others daily?
Who learns from others daily no matter what their social standing?
Who sees beyond title? Empowers beyond title?
Who invests in my industry?
Who builds professionals with courage and patience?
Who has invested in me in the past quarter?
Who is going to rock the boat, our boat….my boat and rock it for the right reasons?

I know. I’m a bigot.
But it’s my party and I’ll demand excellence if I want to.

So when I contact you. When I connect you. When I invite you.
It means that you were on the list of 1000 and you made it through the gauntlet.
You’re part of this month’s surviving 50.

It means you are ruthlessly awesome.

Don’t be too smug though, the list changes every month. People don’t make it through because they get soft, others because it’s not their time to be sharp. Heck, pretty often my own name (yes it’s on the list) is eliminated.

I am growing what I call “the army of the passionate” so that together we can change the sector for the better. Not just to raise more dollars, or help more people but so there’s actual justice INSIDE the halls of the charity too. Let’s not pretend we’re anywhere near that now.

We’re all biased. This is my personal bias.

U invited U – Make sense now?

Why I HATE professional sports

For most of my adult life, when guys talk talking sports. I check out.

Part of it is because I’m into cooking, entertaining and weddings.
Which doesn’t make good fodder for man conversation.
But mostly it’s because I detest pretty much all organized sport.

I’m not into:
– Hours away from home
– Drinking beer and doing dumb stuff in public
– Memorizing stats and important sports moments
– Talking controversial plays the next day
– Glorifying testosterony fighting and garbage attitudes
(I know this is the worst of sports and there’s wonderful lessons to be learned.
I’m also highly supportive of playing actual sports )

I was mentioning this to my wife who was explaining a work world cup pool she was in and she replied “yeah but you are into a sport”….



As always, she’s right.
I have always said that networking is a contact sport
and I’m an addict – hook, line and sinker.
People often marvel at my time spent networking.

The parallels:
– Hours away from home
– Drinking too much coffee and consuming boxes of mints
– Memorizing career wins and skills of people in my network
– Learning about the secrets of every good career search expert
– I literally cheer when good things happening to good people
– Glorifying leaders of integrity who makes moves to change the world

I don’t idealize Kobe Bryant, Sidney Crosby or Chris Bosh
My superstars are Seth Godin, Robin Sharma, Marcus Buckingham and the Shepa team
( I should make trading cards!! )

I track careers.
I watch good managers turn into game-changing directors.
I study leaders without title who inspire by crushing challenges with sweat and work.
I mentor young people who reject entitlement and prove they’re here to contribute.
I invest in entrepreneurs who work smart and not just hard.

So yes I have a beer belly. It’s just not from a couch.

Thanks to an inspirational leader Steve Foran who through his video blog and great book have reminded me that it’s through my daily steps to improve the lives of those who accepted the challenge of being part of my network, what I call my “army of the passionate” that I can change the world.

Or at the very least feel a little better about the beer gut.

Confession 1: Many people who know me know that I frequent Blue Jays games. Confession, I know nothing about baseball. I just like being trapped with someone I respect or care about for four hours with a chance to talk because you could fall asleep and read a whole book at a baseball game. It’s a networking goldmine!

Confession 2: I’m an overweight bookworm who knows that sports and a healthy lifestyle are actually good for you period. I know that some of this is a way to explain away my inactivity. I know that many of the best in my profession are big on sports, specifically some running fetish.

Two of the best networkers I know are die hard sports participants and they meet more business and personal contacts in a year of intramural sports than I meet in two years of networking.

Linchpin Event: June 14, 2010

Forgot to post the article and picture collage submitted to “Linchpin Magazine” this past month!

Thanks to all who came out to the official “Linchpin Philanthropic Meetup‘.

Here’s what I ended up sending. The e-mag team asked for 250 words or less!


Toronto Canada:

The business of philanthropy?

The 25 or so folks who attended were from a diverse background of age, race, experience and profession. Fundraisers, marketers, admin staff, financial advisors, board members and consultants from marketing, management and search. I asked the group to “ship” two answers before they left.

1) What is the name of the elephant in our room? The resounding answer was “you saw my inner Linchpin, hired me and then slapped on the handcuffs and stand in my way”. Charities and non-profits were born out of the fires of passion. We are the “roots” in grass roots. But the businessification of philanthropy is quickly wreaking havoc on how charities are managed and what is shipped. We are stuck trying to solve problems based our ideology, not the real needs of who we serve. Only the hungry have any creative courage, only the slick can capture mass dollars, courageous missionaries of awesomeness are losing to formula-fiends and bottom line bean counters. The truly creative seem to become consultants, leave the sector or ship the same 1980’s begging by mail and phone garbage only to pray for the sweet embrace of death because retirement will soon join the rotary phone and phone book in the ‘what was that?’ category. On a lighter note my second question was

2) What would you like to share with other linchpins? Best answers: Be useful or funny. Working smarter doesn’t have to smother passionate creativity. I will out-last you, out-live you, out-think you, out-work you, out-care you and WE will have the change we seek.


Fantastic stuff. Great connections were made among people who are committed to solving problems.

Time well spent!

Paul Nazareth

July 2010 Update!

The magazine has been published and we made it in!

The first post….

I’ve been meaning to start a blog for months.

Not because I want you to know what I’m thinking. Because I talk enough as it is and luckily thanks to great peers, good friends and a loving spouse I know that I’m not as smart, interesting or witty as I think I am.


I think life is truly beautiful and the lessons I learn each day resonate with others and in turn help them teach me more.

Today was another day of learning.

It’s the start of the G20 in Toronto which is starting to look like a middle ages castle complete with drawbridge and hot lead ready to pour.

I committed my evening to raise money for a charity at the Blue Jays game with 30 other volunteers. Most were giggling or gawky teenagers who didn’t really care about being there. My team member and I did pretty well and noted the one old guy who loudly declared he would go it alone.

After our volunteer time we were given free tickets to watch the rest of the game. A few of the teenagers just up and quit in the middle of our duties, a disgrace in my book. None stayed for the game.

Who sits down next to me but the ‘old guy’. We spent some time together and he shared tips on his sales techniques, many other volunteer positions and his joy in helping many charities. Turns out he’s down on his luck right now and staying at a shelter. One could debate how wise he could possibly be with a current situation like this…

But he out-raised every human being in that room by 3 to 1.

Lesson Learned: Most people, (especially me) aren’t as smart as they think they are.

Thanks to the folks at Heart and Stroke Foundation for the chance to make a difference and enjoy a great evening at the ball park.