Intro -- Terry South LO6315
Sat, 30 Mar 1996 15:41:06 -0500

Hello, I've been a lurker on several lists off and on for a few months. I
didn't introduce myself because I didn't feel like I had something to
contribute. But now I think I do, so hello. My name's Terry South (short
for Terrence, not Teresa) and I work for Showtime Networks, the cable
channel, as Area General Manager for sales and marketing. I've been in
line management in Fortune 500 America for almost 20 years, practically
every minute of it feeling out of place. I've failed colossally and
succeeded moderately, but all the time I've not liked to conform and play
politics, although I want badly to achieve. I've struggled to express
myself (secretly instead of this starched white shirt I'm wearing a vest
and black beret) and to have a voice. It's tough. I now am in charge of
a satellite office far from headquarters where our group has created our
own little culture and we perform very well against our goals.

At 41, I've finally discovered that writing and telling personal stories
about experiences in corporate America is actually meaningful, and
sometimes interesting to others living similar experiences. The stories,
like that that company meeting where the big boss accidentally got pissed
and said "f... you" into the microphone in response to an innocent sidebar
suggestion from a colleague and the whole place settled into a stunned
silence, somehow connect with people in a way that flies below our mental

Personally, I find it hard to discuss rationally the things that I observe
and do daily in the middle of a very traditional company. But stories
connect with my gut. Like the one with the operations manager at a major
LA bond trader in the mid-80's when we were installing a large telephone
system for them, and I was proving our expertise in high-stakes
telecommunications by saying that we had installed million-dollar systems
in large hospitals, and he told me, "But you're only talking about life
and death there. Here, we're talking about making lots of money," and he
wasn't chuckling when he said it.

The simple stories also seem to carry the wisdom, spirit and learning that
is actually going on. They just may not make sense (kind of like poetry).

So my point is (and I do have one), that the publisher Berrett-Koehler
(Stewardship by Peter Block, Leadership and the New Science by Margaret
Wheatley, etc.) is thinking about publishing a newsletter for their
readers that reports the short personal stories of readers and their
experiences trying to enact the ideas in the books. I'm kind of a
"civilian volunteer" for them in encouraging them to do this.

Any stories out there? Do you think stories, as opposed to intellectual
discourse, are yet another way to share our experience and learn? If so,
please send them to me and/or post to the list. One thing: keep them
short (100-500 words), personal, and non-bitter if possible (although
ironic bitterness with a bit of revealing honesty and humor personally
works for me). Sorry for the long post.

Former lurker
Terry South
24 Carr Dr.
Moraga, CA 94556
ph (510) 376-6012
fax (510) 376-6032


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