Monday Morning Rock Out!

Hildy Gottlieb... and Hildy Gottlieb!I believe this may be the first time, but this week’s Rock Out is a dedication.

It is dedicated to all of us who build community, pulling seemingly disparate pieces together to make a graceful whole.

It is dedicated to the interconnectedness of arts organizations and human services, of global poverty groups and local animal welfare groups. And within all those spheres, the coming together of supposedly “competing” groups, seeing each other as partners.

It is dedicated to the notion that we all want the same ultimate end result – healthy, resilient, joyful, humane, vibrant communities, and that, like cells in a body, each of us is doing a piece of the work to attain that vision.

But mostly, it is dedicated to Hildy Gottlieb.

No, not me. Really. There is actually another Hildy Gottlieb.

The lives of these two Hildy’s are like night and day. Bright lights meets Birkenstocks. Hollywood mogul meets community organizer. Laurel meets Hardy.  We could not be more different, and yet…

(November 2011 Update: YouTube pulled the initial video. You can view it here It’s wonderful and will make you smile, so I hope you’ll link through!)

I learned of Hildy 20 years ago, when she was mentioned in Time or Newsweek as being the talent agent for the likes of Eddie Murphy and Keanu Reeves. She learned of me 20 years ago, when a friend driving through Tucson saw my name on a real estate sign.

Over the years, our paths crossed only in the occasional Googling of one’s own name.

And then, when The Pollyanna Principles came out, I sent her a copy. The note that went along with the book said, “It’s probably time we meet each other.”

When Hildy called the office, Nick answered the phone and looked like Santa or the Easter Bunny was on the other end. “It’s Hildy Gottlieb,” he said.

We talked for an hour that first time, finding we have much more in common than our names, and much more in common than our different paths would suggest.

In Los Angeles last month, after 20 years, the two Hildy Gottliebs finally met. And while we talked a bit about each of our careers, mostly we just talked about life. Aging parents, children making their way into the world, our frustrations, our joys.

We all have so much more in common than the few things that separate us. We all suffer, we all seek joy.

And so this week’s Rock Out is dedicated to all we have in common.


Pick up the phone this week, and call the leader of an organization that is 180 degrees different from yours. Find out what you have in common. Find out where your paths converge.

Like Hildy and Hildy talking about kids and life over drinks. Like Laurel and Hardy dancing to Santana.

Have a great Monday and a great week, all!

Many thanks to my friend Ted Vachovetz for this delightful video!

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