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The Journey Through Fear To Influence, by Dan Redford

Dan Redford has built a life at the intersection of China/Michigan relations, doing international U.S./China business in raising millions of dollars of investment from Chinese clients into the United States. Knowing he wanted to be involved in U.S./China business, his first large opportunity came as a result of being a paid attendee covering the Shanghai Expo, and connecting with traditional media throughout Michigan as part of that trip. All along the way, he's connected with great people, lent a helping hand, and taken leadership roles in organizations.

In this interview to promote his GiveGetWin deal, a Group Class on Establishing Leadership and Influence, he tells his journey towards leadership and influence positions, and gives you extremely practical guidelines on doing that in your life.

"The Journey Through Fear To Influence" by Dan Redford, as told to Sebastian Marshall

My family really helped me become a leader. My younger brother is a famous basketball player where we're from. As the oldest of our family, it was a really big challenge for me. Seeing my younger brother rise as an athlete in the community and I didn't have to the skills to do that, it hurt.

I didn't pursue playing basketball in high school for a year because I anticipated my younger brother would be starting as a freshman and not wanting to compete with him.

Write up - Leave No Trace/Beginner Parkour Workshop

On Jumping on Entrepreneurship

On Saturday, December 6th, Rochester Parkour held a “Leave No Trace Initiative/Beginner Parkour Workshop.” Thirty five people put on layer upon layer and headed out into 25 degree weather to Manhattan Square Park in downtown Rochester, New York.

We arrived at 2:00pm with three brooms, three dustpans, two (very) small rakes, six pairs of rubber work gloves, and about four thousand gallons of elbow grease. There were a lot of new faces, people out for the first time, so we all circled up and had a brief introduction to Parkour. Zachary Cohn explained what Parkour is, what it isn't, and what it means to be a traceur. We discussed the different facets of respect – respect for yourself, respect for others, and respect for your environment. Respect for yourself included a discussion on safety and an emphasis on slow progression. Respect for others was about respecting your fellow traceurs, pedestrians, property owners, and law enforcement. Respect for environment was the focus of the discussion however – we talked about how lucky we are to have these amazing locations to train on, and how it is important to give back to the community. We discussed how important it is to pick up trash as you see it; such a small effort can make a huge difference. On Saturday, we decided to clean up Manhattan Square Park.

Manhattan Square Park had several years worth of trash, broken glass, cigarettes, leaves, and other miscellaneous junk scattered around it. For the first 90 minutes of the day, we spread out around the park. We raked, swept, and picked up everything we saw. We ended up removing twenty one bags of trash and leaves from the park. It looked AMAZING afterwards, so much better than it did before. And the best part? I found out from a Fire Marshall that was there preparing for a fireworks show that night that there was a parade that evening, and it ended right smack in the middle of the park! So we ended up doing the whole city a huge favor by cleaning up the area for them. It was a very gratifying experience... even if as a whole the city never finds out who cleaned up, we still know and we still can be proud of that.

At 3:30, we started the Beginner's Workshop. The group was split about 50/50 between traceurs who had been coming fairly regularly and very inexperienced people. This workshop was focused on the very basics of Parkour, so that's where we started. Jeff Whalley lead the first half of the warm up, and Charles Moreland wrapped up with quadrupedal movement variants. Once the warmups were finished, Zachary Cohn taught landings in six separate phases: 1) Just jump. 2) Jump and land on the balls of the feet. 3) Jump, land on the balls of the feet, and bend the knees. 4) Jump, land on the balls of the feet, bend the knees, and use your arms when you jump. 5) Jump, land on the balls of the feet, bend knees, and maintain good back posture. 6) Jump, land on the balls of the feet, bend knees, maintain good back posture, and be silent when you land.

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