Ngahi Bidois:

>> Hi, everyone Thanks for coming

Appreciate you guys taking time out of your day My name is Erica Fox I'm a manager in Google University, and it's my great pleasure and honor to introduce my friend, Ngahihi o te ra Bidois and affectionately known as Ngahi Ngahi is an indigenous native Maori from New Zealand And he's just published a book called, "Ancient Wisdom, Modern Solutions

" about his quest to become a modern day warrior I met Ngahi in May in Kuala Lumpur We were both speaking at a human resources conference where we were kind of sharing some innovative and best practice ideas around all sorts of human resources topics And I heard Ngahi give a presentation and a speech about leadership, and particularly, about what leadership means in the Maori culture And I just thought it was something so interesting and that would resonate with Google

So I invited him here So, without further ado, I'd like to introduce Ngahi >> [Clapping] Ngahi Bidois: [chanting in Maori] Now, just in case any of you have no idea what I just said, I brought along a dictionary and — the reality is, if I gave you the dictionary, it wouldn't make any sense And hopefully, I'll be able to explain things a lot better in person And, of course, I've written a book about it as well

But, we have come from New Zealand This is our first time here in New York, and it is a real privilege to be here My name is Ngahihi o te ra Bidois, as Erica said Ngahihi o te ra is Maori It means "the rays of the sun"

Bidois is French It means "handsome" [laughter] "Highly intelligent", and there was another one I keep forgetting — ah, that's right — "humble" And I still have not met a Bidois who disagrees with me It's really good to be here in your beautiful city

And my wife and I — a few years ago now — were sitting in our lounge and watching TV And as we were watching TV, we were crying, because it was the 11th of September And we have had the privilege of attending and going to a memorial while we've been here over in the county of Wayne in New Jersey, with our hosts — with Karen and Mark — who are hosting us And I remember standing in the middle of that memorial, and I was crying for the things that have happened in your beautiful nation And for us to be here in the midst of New York so many years later, to say to you, [speaking in Maori], [translating] "From our people, the Maori people, I give you our sympathy and our deepest wishes for those of you who I know may be still hurting

" And, in our culture, it is appropriate that we acknowledge those who have passed in your culture And so, I do that, [speaking in Maori] I greet you once [in Maori] I greet you twice [in Maori] I greet you three times [in Maori] I'm aware that there are three kinds of people in this audience today

First, obviously, visual learners — and we're going to fly through some Powerpoint presentations behind me to help you, because you learn by seeing and by reading Audible listeners — we'll be telling a few stories along the way And the final group of learners amongst you are obviously kinesthetic So, for the kinesthetic listeners — and this is just to prove that I met Erica in Singapore, at the HID Congress Conference — and, I must admit, Erica was just an outstanding ambassador for Google, not only on the stage, but off the stage as well And she was one of the celebrity speakers of the engagement

And at times, we felt more like bodyguards, and it was really nice to meet you there, Erica, and great to be here today as well I would like to ask everyone to please stand for the kinesthetic learners I had a friend who was dying And it was the last time that I would meet him — see him — on this earth And in Maoridom, we call this 'nohaki'

And as I was talking to him, I said, "You know, I'm finding it very difficult that you're going to be leaving and I don't think I can survive" And he said to me, "Ngahi, every answer that you will ever need in your life can be found if you look in the mirror And if you ask the right questions of the person looking back at you, you will have the answer to every problem that you face" And what I'm going to do today is just encourage you to look into your mirror And we're going to be looking at proverbs, people, and purpose

But, I'm going to ask you questions and I don't want to know the answer, but I want you to think about that question and think about the answer for yourself Are you ready for your first question? [pause] Why am I standing? Ask yourself, "Why am I standing?" What has happened — many of you have never met — in fact, I'd say I've only met half a dozen of you in this room There are things that I have done to influence your behavior And as John C Maxwell, one of your leadership gurus, says, "The true measure of leadership is influence — nothing more, nothing less" And all we're going to do today is look at three ways to increase your influence

And as I said earlier, we're going to look at proverbs, people, and purpose And the importance of those when it comes to influence You may now be seated Unless you choose not to, and — I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Google I come from a group of people known as the Maori race in New Zealand

We are the indigenous people of New Zealand And not that long ago, Craig — in association with some people from my home city in Rotorua — developed Google in Maori And that enabled my children, for example — who attend an education institute where their first language of instruction is Maori — to be able to get on their computers and Google in their indigenous language And for them to be able to do that has not only opened a whole new world for them from very young age, but it has given us as people what we call 'manah' It has given us prestige

It has given us a sense of belonging, because you made our language — which was also already an official language of New Zealand — more official So I would like to take this opportunity as well to thank you at Google, because I know that you all would have had a part to play in it for making it possible for us to Google in our official language So we're going to look quickly at three ways to increase your influence How many of you have been to prison? I actually don't expect you to answer it [laughter] I do see the hand down the back though

Oh, sorry, you're eating your — yeah, yeah I have And it's about now Erica and the others think, "Uh-oh, that wasn't on the form" But the prison I went to was not a prison of concrete walls and steel bars; it was the prison of my mind And this prison looked like this

When I was young, I saw a helicopter flying above and it had Santa Claus in it who was throwing us lollies And I said to one of my mates, as we're picking up these lollies, "I'm going to fly in one of those one day" And they looked at me and said, "Yeah right, Ngahi Few too many lollies, I think" It goes like this

People in my life saying, "Ngahi, your life will never amount to anything You? Go to university? I don't think so You didn't even pass the national exams that we have You? Write a book? You can't even write proper essays You? Speak to people? Wasn't it that day that you skipped school or were very sick because there was speech contests on at school? I don't think so

" So all of these bars, [chufe!] [chufe!] [chufe!] were being put around my mind And people would say things like, "You can't do that You just can't do that" [chufe!] There's another bar And it got to the stage that, whenever I went to go and do something, all I could see was a bar in front of me, stopping me from achieving anything — until an incredible thing happened in my life

I stayed with my grandmother for two years And in those two years, she taught me an incredible proverb And that proverb was, [speaking in Maori] [translating], "The thought creates the person" And she said this to me, "Ngahi, it doesn't matter what other people think of you What matters is what you think of you

" And then, she would give me a big hug, and she'd say, "And, by the way, I think you can do anything" [speaking in Maori] There's another man who was a hero in my life, and his name was Bruce Lee Have you heard of Bruce Lee? Yeah Yeah Bruce Lee said this, "As we think, so shall we become

" In fact, if you'd have seen Bruce Lee, he would have said it like this, "As we think, so shall we become" I think it was the dubbing of the movies that was — And if a man who was known for his physical prowess would say something like that, and remind us that, "As we think, so shall we become," then how important is it for us to keep thinking as well? Leaders think, and thinkers lead So, for you as leaders, I would like to say this I believe you are paid to think more than any other skill you have And walking around your building, it was just so wonderful to see the many places where you can think — opportunities that you have to think in this very building

Leonard Ravenhill said, "Opportunities of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity" And you have so many opportunities here every day to think Here's something for you to think about Who are my eagles? Look in your mirror and say, "Who are my eagles? Who are my mentors? Who are the people who get me from A to B?" Because you will be the same person in five years time except for two things One, the information that you learn

And two, the people that you meet Let's take an example of that Think of your five best friends It is highly likely that your income is their average So you want to earn more money? Dump your friends and get — nah, nah

You want to be a better leader? Look to leaders that you want to be like and ask them to mentor you Ask them to be your eagles Eagle — as many of you will know — is an amazing bird It has in its wing a bone that it locks And it locks this wing as the storm approaches, and can fly above storms

Eagles have been seen at over 15,000 feet by airline pilots They fly so high, that ice starts forming on their backs And their wings are locked up here above the storm And they're able to descend down the other side of the storm as well Guess who the storm hurts? Yep

All the turkeys You guys have heard of that saying? "How can I fly like an eagle when I'm surrounded by turkeys?" Well, where are the eagles? They're up here So when you are working those long hours, take note of who else is working with you When you are doing those hard jobs that allow you to fly above the storm, take note of the other eagles who are flying above the storm with you Go and meet them

Get to know them They will make you a better person So, who are my eagles? Let's keep moving "Do I think like a leader?" is your next question Remembering the things that I've seen around here in Google as well — you just think way outside of the box or the square or the circle or the star, whatever it is

And I encourage you and exhort you to continue to do that Let's look at people In our culture, people are very important And this is a proverb which reemphasizes it [speaking in Maori] He aha te mea nui?, He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

[translating] "What is the most important thing in this world? If you would ask me what is the most important thing in this world, I would say to you, it is people, it is people, it is people" And on the first of March, 2004, some very important people came and visited my home It was the person who would put this tattoo — this Ta Moko, Traditional Maori Tatoo — onto my face And he visited me in March, and I thought he was visiting me to talk about putting my Ta Moko on later in the year And as we sat at our family dinner together with our two guests with us, he looked across at me after we had our main meal, and he said this, "Ngahi, I have my gear in the car

" Now remember, this had taken eight years of planning and waiting And I'm thinking, "We're going to be doing this in October It's now March" And he said, "Ngahi, I have my gear in the car We can do this tonight

" [pause] "Yes Yes, I'm ready I want to do this tonight" Suffice to say, I didn't get dessert that night Eight o'clock at night until midnight; midnight until four o'clock in the morning — one night

We got to midnight, and he said to me, "We can take a break, and you can do this another time We can finish this another time if you want" And I said, "No, I waited eight years for this And I'm not leaving this house until it's done" And we finished the rest tonight

So eight hours to put my tattoo onto my face This part of my tattoo — my Ta Moko — emphasizes the importance of listening, which you are doing so well now This part of my tattoo — my Ta Moko — emphasizes the importance of seeing and observing and looking There is nothing on my forehead to emphasize the importance of thinking And on my chin is a pattern that looks like a hammerhead shark [pause] on my chin

And that is very significant to my tribe The name of the tribe that I come to you from in New Zealand is called tiarowa And we are named after a shark And when our canoe left our original place that we came from, it was caught in a whirlpool And the priest of our canoe said a prayer, which enabled us to come out of the whirlpool and at the same time a shark appeared

And this shark led us — not only out of the whirlpool, but on to the resting place called Maketu in the Bay of Plenty of New Zealand, where our canoe rested In fact, this event with the shark was so significant that, when we left here, we were known as the [speaking in Maori] It changed our name to become known as the tiarowa people after that shark And we changed the name of our canoe as well to 'The Tiarowa Canoe' before traveling on And so, this shark, known as the tiarowa shark, is on my chin because of the importance of speaking And as I work with leaders around the world — we've just come from Singapore and England to be here today — what I emphasize is that leaders listen, look and observe, and think before they speak

Talking about my Ta Moko, which one — and looking like a leader is very important Which one looks more like a leader? One of them is taken like this, with a camera pointing at myself And the other one is taken by a professional photographer As leaders, we need to be careful where our image ends up, because — as we all know — it can be on YouTube or anywhere within a split second And beware of the roaming camera, especially at those social functions that we tend to attend

Be aware of our image as leaders I was working in Quomu, and they gave me a silver Pujo car to drive around in And I was driving down the street, saw this sign, "Fresh scallops" Thought, "Yep, that's me" Pulled into a parking space, went to the shop, and the shop was closed

I thought, "Awh" Came out, got in my car, it was a brand knew Pujo they had given me Went to start the car, and the car wouldn't start And I thought, "Awh, must be the alarm on the keys" Pulled the keys out, pushed the button, and the car in front of me went [jin jin] I remember looking at the key thinking, "Why would they give you keys for two cars?" [laughter] And then I thought, "Okay, let's try it again

" Put it in, start, wouldn't start, pull it out, push the button, car in front went [ji] Ah ha ha So I'm a bit slower than a lot of you here in this room would have been Sure enough, looked around the car — not my car Get out of this car, enter the silver Pujo in front of me — this car was also silver — started up, took off Now, the funny thing was, when I got into the first car, someone pulled up to take my parking space

So, can you imagine, I'm dressed in my suit and Quomu, with my Ta Moko, them watching all of this happening [laughter] Can you imagine the conversation at the police station? "Were there any distinguishing features?" [laughter] If we were in New Zealand, they would have said, "Yes, he was Maori, and he was wearing a suit" [laughter] So, our appearance as leaders is very important, and we only get one chance to make a first impression — one chance to make a first impression So do you look like a leader? In fact, someone said to us, "Are you wearing a tie?" Mark said to me, "You wearing a tie? Do you think I should wear a tie?" I said, "No No, no

I don't think anyone in Google will be wearing a tie" I said, "However, it's just a part of my presenting and my branding that I wear a tie" I said, "But, from what I've read about you guys, you are just so busy pushing scooters around, and doing all the thinking while you're playing ping-pong and all the other things that, Wow, why would you sweat with a tie on?" So, do you look like a leader? 1987 — I want to finish with looking at purpose — and 1987 was an important year in my life I was sitting on a hotel bed in a very nice hotel And, as I'm sitting on this hotel bed, I'm having a conversation that goes something like this, "I have made it

I have achieved every goal that I wanted to achieve by the time I was thirty, and here I am, 26 years of age" So what were my five main goals? The first goal was, we had lots of money in the bank for our first house, had my first degree under my belt — my business degree — beautiful wife, even more beautiful car Someone asked me what that car was actually one time And here I am in a high-flying job in a high-flying career with a multinational oil company Life could not be any better

In fact, I'm eating an egg burger, because I'm sick of the restaurant food downstairs that I've had to eat for the last three days And I'm at yet another leadership training course Just nine short months later, I'm unemployed, I've had to sell the beautiful car, we have no money in the bank, and we are waiting for friends who used to bring us food parcels So how did I go from a high-flying job to being unemployed? From "sick of the best food this world has to offer" to "waiting for food parcels"? No money in the bank, unemployed, sitting, learning the Maori language I found myself in a setting very similar to this where a speaker was talking, and he said, "You know, we find it very hard to find Maori leaders who will help us with the street kids in the city of Oakland

" which is our biggest city — and he said, "This is why Most of them get educated, end up in high-flying jobs They have flash houses, flash cars — very beautiful houses, very beautiful cars And most of them end up marrying non-Maori women" This is a picture of my wife

You can see the real thing which is a lot better at the back later And it's a real privilege to be here with my wife and family This is a picture of my wife, who obviously, is not Maori And as this gentleman was saying that, he said, "My boys call them mellow paths," which is a biscuit that we have back home that's a chocolate biscuit on the outside and white on the inside And he said, "And all they do in the end is they turn their backs on their own people

" And as he turned around, people started laughing I started crying I was sitting in the front seat, and I started crying And I wept and wept and wept And I just could not stop weeping

And after what seemed ages, he carried on talking and I just couldn't stop weeping And I had to get up out of my seat and go to another part of the whole, and my wife followed me And she said, "Ngahi, are you all right?" And I said, "No, I'm not" I said, "I don't know who I am The goals that I had — that I wanted to achieve by the time I was thirty, have made me turn my back on my people

" So what did that look like? It meant going to university for a business degree and passing papers in my language just to pass papers, not actually to learn the language And six months later — not even knowing my own language It meant my friend and my flatmate had a Maori — a group of guys that used to come around our house into our flat and visit us And I used to go into my bedroom and pretend I was studying, because I didn't want to know these guys I'd become such an arrogant sod in the middle of all of this career that, one day, a Maori guy came up to me, and he said, [speaking in Maori], [translating] "Have you got any loose change?" I said, "Man, I'm not your bro

I don't even know who you are" And he looked at me, and he goes, "Whatever" He turned around and walked off It meant I didn't even know my own customs and aspects of my own culture, and I had turned my back on my culture And so, I found myself in the situation when my wife said to me, "What would you like to do?" I said, "It needs to start with learning my own language

I need to know what it means to be Maori, and I'd like to take a year off to learn the Maori language" And so, we both voluntarily took a year of being unemployed and learning the Maori language And people have said, "Well, what's happened since then?" Let me share a couple of things about my beautiful wife We've been married 24 years — 25 years this year, December the first After the one year of being unemployed, she went to university and became the first person in her family — to our known knowledge — to receive a bachelors in arts, a degree from a university

She did her degree in Management Information Systems and Maori Studies One day, she came back, and she said, "Ngahi, when our children are born, I'd like us to only speak Maori to them" So, before our children were born, we made a decision to only speak Maori They now attend a school, as I said earlier, where Maori is the first language of instruction and Google has helped them to search computers in their official language — a language that one generation ago my parents were punished for speaking in schools and were not allowed to speak The term one generation, we've changed from a people who were not allowed to speak our own language to another generation who now Google on a computer in their own language

And I hope that emphasizes the importance of what you have done for our language And I thank you again People have said, "What about you, Ngahi?" Oh, my wife is fluent in Maori, sorry My wife is fluent in Maori, and she's been adopted by my tribe And one of the discussions that took place was, what's someone from our tribe saying, When are you going to receive your mark of leadership? And if my Pakeha wife — 'Pakeha' is the word that we use for non-Maori in New Zealand — if my Pakeha wife can take some of the principles that I've shared with you today about proverbs, people, and purpose, to walk in my world, then I know that you are more than able to walk in your world

People have said, "What about you, Ngahi?" Obviously, I've changed my goals to one day receive my mark of leadership, my gift from my ancestors, my Ta Moko And I've shifted from a hotel room bed to a room full of unemployed people to standing here with you today And I've had the privilege of speaking in many places around the planet about my message of leadership And I'd like to emphasize the challenge to you by saying and challenging you, Who might you have turned your back on? And what will you do different tomorrow as a result of some of the things that I've been able to share with you today? Through proverbs and people, we establish our purpose And I would now like to invite my son to join me on the stage

And we would like to issue you a challenge from our people in New Zealand, which is called a 'haka' to emphasize the things that I have challenged you about your leadership today Do you look like a leader? Do you think like a leader? What proverbs do you use? It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog [speaking in Maori] Be strong Be courageous Be steadfast

And who might you have turned your back on? And what will you do different tomorrow? [chanting in Maori loudly] From New Zealand, we thank you once [speaking in Maori] We are honored to be here at Google We thank you twice [speaking in Maori] We thank you three times [speaking in Maori] >> [Clapping] >> [pause] Ngahi Bidois: We — just as the gentleman is moving to the mic — we unfortunately sold out of books And it was a huge print run

And I think it was about three hundred And we — during this trip — are getting more books printed And we're only able to bring the last ten books to Google unfortunately But would like to gift those ten books to your company and we thank you _____ for hosting us here And Erica [undecipherable] Q First of all, thank you for speaking today

And my question is, I love to travel, and when I travel, I really enjoy seeing rituals from indigenous people And I've been to New Zealand twice and really enjoyed it When I was there, I went to — and I'm probably going to mispronounce this — hongi? Ngahi Bidois: Hongi, yes Q And the Maoris who perform some dancing and whatnot were different from many of the other indigenous groups that I've seen in other places in the world, because they meant it When they did what they did, they weren't standing there doing it for tourists, they meant it

It was clear And my question for you is — and it was beautiful I was obviously, I mean, they stood out from many other peoples that I've seen My question is, Why do you think that the Maori have been able to hold on to their culture that strongly? And what might other indigenous cultures learn from you in that regard? Ngahi Bidois: Thank you, Phil Good question

We — a part of our survival if you want, and a part of our business acumen has been the expertise that we bring in the area of tourism And I think there are two areas that contribute to ascertaining our — what we call 'performing arts' One is, the emphasis of a culture that was never written down It wasn't until we had people come from England that our language, etcetera, was actually written Our language was an old language that was passed down through the generations

And even the challenge, that my son and I did then, is a challenge from our tribe that has been passed down through many generations and has retained a lot of our historical knowledge So that was the first thing The retention of our knowledge through our performing arts has always been a very important part of our culture The second one, obviously, is around tourism And we thought, "Well, you know, we are a very unique culture from what we consider a very unique and beautiful place

" And we were able to turn what had been historical knowledge into tourism activity And so, we were not only able to perform our challenges and our wiyat, our songs, but we were also able to take that indigenous knowledge and invite people to some of our very sacred places And so, tourism, as you said, has always been a part of who we are And an important part of our culture is hospitality An important part of our culture is being able to look after the safety and look after the well-being of our guests

And tourism fits in that as well Now you mentioned hongi, Phil It's important that, when you are talking about our language and use words like 'hongi', that you don't get them confused with words like 'hangi' Now a hongi is where I will greet you and I will press noses with you But do you remember doing that? I would like to demonstrate the hongi

The hongi is where we press noses twice Now, we press noses with you once to acknowledge you And twice to acknowledge your ancestors The pressing of the noses, known as the hongi, allows us to both share a breath of life together as we meet And it's a protocol that we use when we meet, and also, when we leave someone

So that's the hongi So the 'hongi' is where we meet you or greet you And the 'hangi' is where we eat you and cook you [laughter] You'll be pleased to know that we no longer do that — that there are other forms of meat that have been provided that run around in paddocks And that's called the 'hangi', but it's actually a method of cooking food where it's prepared under the ground; the ground is covered up with stones that are heating in rocks, heating the food, and it takes about three or four hours to cook before we eat it

It has a unique taste, doesn't it? So does that answer your question? So it's a retention of our knowledge — our indigenous knowledge — and it's also the ability to be business people We have in New Zealand — Maori people have some of the biggest tourism attractions in New Zealand, from wild watching all the way through to entertaining like you've seen here tonight where you will have a hongi in performances as well And especially in ______ the city that I come from where it's known as the Maori cultural capital of New Zealand, we also have some of the biggest education institutes in New Zealand And, for example, the biggest tertiary institute is Maori We have scholarships for our young people

And a lot of our tribes are receiving millions of dollars from the crown in order for us to develop our capacity in many areas throughout New Zealand as well Other questions? So I promise not to answer questions so long Q Thank you again for coming And it's very nice to meet you and listen I was just reading through some of the introduction

And you're talking about your last name Bidois and ______ French ancestry and raised Catholic Not knowing much about the Maori tribe and religion, was there a conflict there? Is there a similarity between, you know, with other Maori tribes where there's Catholicism or other types of religion blended in? Just very curious Ngahi Bidois: Sure And so your question is around what sort of religion we have? Q Yeah, is there, you know, is there a correlation to perhaps a different way of having faith or having belief since you talk — at least, you just bring it up in the book, coming from primarily Catholic in the beginning Ngahi Bidois: Yes

As a people, we are very spiritual I put it as 'spiritual' As a people, we are very spiritual people And we, for example, a part of the colonization process if you want — the people coming from England — was the first book that was ever written in our language was the Bible And the Bible was written by missionaries who came and were, I guess, obviously a part of the religious beliefs that were brought to our country

As a people, we are very spiritual, and you will find many of our Maori people distributed amongst the many religions that are in New Zealand For example, we have Catholics, Presbyterians, Anglicans, and we also have more of the newer forms of Christianity — born again Christians, etc And we also had our own prophets — people who had spiritual experiences and were healers People like William Ratner, who had followers and who's today known as the Ratner Church because of the things he was able to do and the people that he healed and the gifts that he presented to people in a spiritual sense And so, today, you'll find quite a wide range of Maori involved in the various religions as such

However, we also have a very strong, spiritual connection with our indigenous knowledge And our indigenous knowledge has within it our own beliefs and our own creation and our own guardians, our own — we would call him 'Supreme Being' Our own supreme being And known as [speaking in Maori] [translating] "The Fatherless One" And many other names

We would also have guardians at a lower spiritual plane who are guardians over areas And, for example creation, which has helped us hugely with our environmental protocols and the way that we look after our environment So spirituality is a very strong part of who we are as Maori And, like I said, there's a wide range of people you'll find — Maori people in different beliefs Other questions? [pause] Cool

Thank you >> [Clapping]