September 24, 2009

Hope for the Future with a Great Mentor

When I come across young boys with amazing talents, it really does give me hope for the future. A man-maker named Dan G. put me on to this kid. In the clip legendary blues guitar hero, Buddy Guy, invites 8 year-old guitar whiz Quinn Sullivan on stage for an impromptu jam!

Not only is the young dude breathtaking, but pay attention to Buddy as he coaches, honors, and shows stellar man-making tendencies with his young friend.

Save listening to this till you can crank the volume. I guarantee it will set your toes a tappin, grow your smile, and moisten your eyes.

Go to this link if the clip doesn't show up.

September 16, 2009

Coaching Boys into Men - A Handbook

Many of the men reading this will have a story about their coach and the difference he made in his life. A man who took on the responsibility to shape a rag-tag group of testosterone fueled young males into a competitive team. "Coach," was a man who cared about you and who wielded the power and influence to teach not just athletic skills, but to instill the values of respect for others, teamwork, patience, tolerance for differences, and personal integrity along the way. If you have a coach like that in your background, tell us about him with a short remembrance in the comments section of this post.

Because of the power of a coach in a young male's life, it's not surprising that coaches as a group are being singled out as a force for changing the world as man-makers. One example is the focus on coaches in conjunction with the FIFA Soccer World Cup tournament in South Africa in 2010. UNICEF is planning to use the excitement surrounding the games to launch its Sports for Development Program. UNICEF has partnered with the South African Department of Education to reinvigorate a sports program called Coaching Boys into Manhood (CBIM).

The intention is to recreate a new International Coaches Manual based on concepts from the original Coaching Boys into Men Playbook, and enlist international celebrity soccer coaches and players, such as David Beckham, as “teachers” of violence prevention. Then CBIM will be distributed around South Africa, providing 585 schools and communities with coaches who will serve as liaisons between the school community, governing bodies, and key stakeholders in the effort to improve the lives of children.

Check out the CBIM playbook. It describes the FIFA Fair Play Code and has quotes like the following to inspire and challenge men and coaches everywhere:

By encouraging players to build healthy relationships with teammates, friends, families, opponents, referees and fans, and by promoting a non-violent environment on and off the playing field, coaches can help create a more peaceful world.

And really solid young men.

If you're a coach, thanks for your man-making. You are a gift to us all. You may find the Coaches Corner and the Coaches Kit on a website of the Family Violence Prevention Fund to be helpful.

September 9, 2009

Children Learn What They See

In the Man-Making book I offer a continuum of actions a man might take to help move boys towards a positive and successful manhood. At the Zero level of involvement, men don't have to do anything. Adolescent males are being propelled by their biology towards manhood. When the testosterone hits, consciously or not, they start looking around for men who can be models and offer them guidance. They start noticing what men do. All men, at some point, are witnessed by young males and that, by default, makes them man-makers.

Now IF a man understands that, and makes an intentional choice to set a good example when he's around young males, then he has accepted the first small piece of responsibility for the transformational power he has to shape boys into good men.

This clip is a somewhat painful demonstration of how this process works in the lives of children, but the same is true at any age. It clearly calls us to be more conscious of our power to influence young lives. It's from the good folks at the Child–Friendly Initiative. They are a grassroots, non-profit organization, dedicated to improving the lives of children.

Use this link if the video clip isn't available just below.

September 1, 2009

One Man's Passion

I love stories about how one individual's passion can literally change the world. I profiled a few man-makers and their stories in the Man-Making book to help men understand that by trusting your instincts and with a little courage, many lives can be touched.

One of readers of this blog, Andrew M., sent along another inspirational story. Just below is the video clip of Dave Eggers, who is on the road to reinventing parts of our educational system. He was one of three individuals identified and presented with a TED prize for their creativity and ability to "change the world.

This short clip is really funny, will make your heart sing, and maybe inspire you to take some action.

If you have trouble with the clip, go to this link.