David Roche is like most men. He never gets lost. This helped him find the White House and perform for President Clinton. A hunch tells him when to grab a beer out of the fridge. On an inkling he took the ashtray off his motorcycle. A premonition told him not to root for Goliath. David describes this as, male intuition – something our gender has in abundance! It's why Murphy is never wrong. It was the 'funny feeling' that revealed my favourite whisky is actually Vickie's too!
Unlike most men David knows he is beautiful. Not vain-fully but authentically so. He has come to terms with his facial disfigurement by discovering something else men and perhaps women have in common, doubt, loneliness, unworthiness. David's dove deep into this bog of insecurities. I imagine his journey was as tough, dark and ego- shattering as any pilgrim's. It's why most of us avoid it. He surfaced transformed with love, wisdom and a generosity of spirit. When Vickie and I host our annual 'Thinking Like a Movement' retreats for people who seek to transform the world, we want David by our side.
We've discovered it isn't about the 'how' of social innovation and social change ( tactics, tools and techniques )(see NOTES below). It's about about the 'who' especially if 'who' is plural. More and more people today don't stand at the front of the room or lead the parade in order to accomplish change. They don't present themselves as perfect in every way They tell their story – not the unblemished one but the one that reveals who they are, warts and all. The one Nelson Mandela reveals in his latest book, Conversations with Myself, when he confesses to relying on, "arrogance in order to hide his weaknesses" and that he never was a saint, "even on the basis of an earthly definition of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying."
Storytellers welcome more storytellers. Stories, David Roche style, teach us to show up; pay attention to what has heart and meaning; to tell the truth without fear of consequences; and not to be attached to outcomes. (See NOTES below) You can nurture a movement with people like that. Today's change makers understand it will take more than mythic heroines and heroes to improve social and economic justice for all. Thanks to David, more and more of us are transforming our leadership style – or struggling to. That's a lot of whos!
David is an award winning comedian, storyteller, teacher and author of, The Church of 80% Sincerity. He is also big enough, confident enough, beautiful enough to love the whole world. We must find more people like him.
You can learn all the tricks of male intuition and storytelling for change by contacting David through his website. He'll find you wherever you live – remember he never gets lost. As a special treat David will be teaching storytelling workshops November 12 -14 and November 19 – 21 in Vancouver. He will also be performing the evening of November 16th in Vancouver and November 17th in Victoria. For details click here.
I'll end with the writer Anne Lamott's assessment of David's performance.
“Everyone watching gets happy because he's secretly giving instruction on how this could happen for them, too, this militant self-acceptance. He lost the great big outward thing, the good-looking package, and the real parts endured. They shine through like crazy, the brilliant mind and humor, the depth of generosity, the intense blue eyes, those beautiful hands. … There was thunderous applause, and he bowed shyly, ducking his head and then looking up, beaming at us all. He holds his palms up as if about to give a benediction. His hands caught the light like those of the youngest child there.”
(1) The limitations of 'how' are eloquently described in Peter Block's book, The Answer to How is Yes.
(2) Angeles Arrien is a cross cultural anthropologist whose book the Four Fold Way expounds on the qualities that David's storytelling unearths.
I “met” David Roche in Bonnie Sher Klein’s film Shameless. A dear friend of mine has Muscular Dystrophy and cannot smile. The power of her personality and her sense of humour are such that after spending a couple of occasions with my friend, my sister asked “why isn’t our friend smiling in the photos?” When I explained about facial paralysis, my sister was amazed. She didn’t recall this reality in her memory at all. David’s and my friend’s personalities are so strong, that they engage their listeners on a level above physical attention. Disability? What disability? It is personally transformative to watch David in action.