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CB2: Breaking Bread With the Governator

Last night in Winnipeg, Manitoba I had the awesome pleasure of dining at the same table with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Premier Greg Selinger, Minister of Defence Peter MacKay, Mayor of Fargo Dennis Walaker and other exciting guests. My company GovLivewas a sponsor of an Evening With Arnold – the first speaking engagement since he left office.

I can’t say enough how funny and engaging of a speaker Arnold was on stage, then equally impressive during our private chat at dinner. When you heard his story of wanting so badly to come to America, deliberately planning a path to success and never taking “no” for an answer, you couldn’t help but feel this is the American Dream.

While bullet points alone don’t do his speech much justice, Arnold laid out these personal rules of success:

1. Trust yourself and in your vision.
2. Break the rules.
3. Don’t be afraid to fail.
4. Work like hell.

“If you think by working 10 hours you’re doing some miracle, you’re crazy. There are 24 hours in a day. After 6 hours of sleep and 10 hours of work there are still 8 hours left to accomplish something. If you need more than 6 hours of sleep, sleep faster.”

5. The Schriver rule (Serve. Serve. Serve.)

Schwarzenegger also spoke about why he calls some politicians “girly men” and made it very clear what really makes a girly man:

“The girly man rule is very simply. If you cry, you’re not a girly man. If you are depressed and down, you’re not a girly man. If you’re failing, you’re not a girly man. If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re a girly man.”

Some of the more interesting private dinner conversation included talk about his views on making people work off minor offenses rather than crowd prisons, and America’s long history of radical people targeting political figures, as Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford’s shooter was discussed. He made a point about reinforcing respect over hate in our communities, pointing at me saying “What if I say, Chris, YOU’RE CRAZY. But now what can we do?” (a moment burned into my memory for life by the way)

Shifting to Canada’s Minister of Defence Peter MacKay who had just returned from meeting with leaders in the Middle East, I asked him what one message he would like to communicate to Americans. He said that we would be surprised at the degree to which they’re involved in the war on terror with the US, that 156 Canadians have lost their lives along side of us, the level of sophistication of their special forces, and their important role in NORAD.

Here is a brief except from Minister MacKay’s interview with Governor Schwarzenegger on the challenges facing Canadian Defence:

Asking Minister MacKay about his thoughts on social media policy in anticipation of today’s CB2, he said that they’re not approaching the issue with policy, but rather educating their military on the risks and keeping social media open. Right on.

Finally, who wants to hear Arnold talk about Danny DeVito? (and check out those boots!) Enjoy 🙂


Read Last Week’s CB2: Are Prepaid Phones Hurting Your Community?


About Chris Bennett (Jump to Online Resume)

Chris Bennett is a emergency management innovator who is trying to make government better by improving citizen preparedness and crisis communications. He’s a graduate of Wharton with a master’s from Harvard with in “Technology, Innovation, Education.” His portfolio of companies and former projects include OneStorm Hurricane Preparedness, ReadyTown, GovLive, TexasPrepares and America’s Emergency Network. Chris was the recipient of FL Governor Crist’s 2008 Public Information Award. He lives in St. Petersburg, FL, loves to fish, and has been spotted sharing a pint with GovLoop Founder Steve Ressler in Tampa.

What does CB2 Mean? “Chris Bennett’s Crisis Blog.” It was originally CB Squared but the superscript 2 never took, so now we’re rocking the big 2.

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