Mark Scharenbroich’s Book Nice Bike

One of my favorite speakers is Mark Scharenbroich. First, he is a very nice guy. Second, he is one of the funniest and most creative speakers I have ever seen. Third, he has the ability to take a simple idea and make it profound.

Here is an excerpt of his new book.

Nice Bike
Mark Scharenbroich

Quite by accident, I stumbled onto the Harley-Davidson company’s 100th year anniversary celebration in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I flew from my home in Minneapolis to Milwaukee for a speaking engagement.  Once I landed, I rented a Ford Taurus beige car for my trip.  I was suddenly surrounded by thousands of black leather, bandana wearing, hard core Harley riders.  They had traveled across the world to celebrate 100 years of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

I’ve never been on a Harley.  I’ve never dreamed of owning a Harley.  I’ve never thought of myself as a Harley-kind-of-a-guy.  But that day in my beige rental car, I wanted a Harley.  I wanted to be a part of the Harley gathering.  I wanted to see my wife Susan in black leather on the back of a Harley…(OK that’s a different issue.)

As I watched the interactions between biker to biker, two words surfaced that seemed to create a great connection.  A stranger would walk by a rider, glance at their Harley and simply say, “Nice Bike.”
It really hit me that once our basic needs are met, we all have two core needs.

Number one: We need to belong — to a family, a tribe, a faith community, a great company, a united team.  We all need to feel connected.

Number two, we all need to hear, “Nice Bike,” which translates to “I see you, I hear you, and I appreciate you. This world, this organization, or this community is a better place because you’re in it. You belong.”
Nice Bike. It was the gold star on your paper in elementary school. It was being invited to sit at a lunch table in middle school. It was the high school teacher remembering your name on the second day of classes. It’s the smile from a stranger during your travels. It’s a manager taking the time to let you know how much you mean to an organization.

Nice Bike may only be two words, but it can be broken down into three powerful steps:

1. Acknowledgement
Acknowledgement is an awareness of others. It’s letting people know that who they are and what they do matters. Acknowledgement is giving as much value to the front line worker as you would to an upper level manager.

2. Honor
Nice Bike is honoring other people and knowing what’s important — not to ourselves — but to them. It’s offering a heartfelt affirmation and validation. It’s giving a sincere compliment not because of what it will do for you, but because of what it will do for the other person. It’s serving others with a sense of passion.

3. Connect
Nice Bike is making a connection. It’s creating a bond — large or small — that makes a difference in the life of someone else.

It’s not about the motorcycle — although that is the perfect metaphor. It’s all about making connections that matter.

Here is a perfect example of Nice Bike:  I attended at a birthday party for a friend, Tim Line, who is married to Lori Line, a virtuoso piano player. She owns and runs the largest woman-owned independent record company in the United States.

Tim was celebrating his 40th birthday, and Lori threw a party in their home with 75 people attending. In the middle of the party, Lori gathered everyone together for a toast to Tim. After the toast, Tim said, “I want to thank each and every one of you for coming tonight to help us celebrate. You are all very special people to us, and I want to make sure you all know the role that each of you play in our lives.”

Tim went on to introduce each person and explain how they were connected to him. He recognized every single person in the room and expressed how honored he and Lori were to have them in their lives.

You could see each person glow a bit brighter when Tim talked about him or her. He acknowledged, honored and connected with every person in the room.  It was Tim’s night, but he really made it about his guests.  It was a true Nice Bike.

Nice Bike – Tim Line.

Would you like to make a difference in someone’s life?  It could be a stranger, a co-worker or a family member.  Acknowledge, honor and find a way to connect with them.  Find out what they value and Nice Bike them.  It makes for a fun ride.