Thursday, September 19, 2013
A skill. A gift. A necessity.
Without it, you dis-engage, you dis-connect.
Without it, you easily disagree, disappoint.
A vast amount of business is conducted (and ruined) in the absence of really noticing. Too many interactions in the workplace (and elsewhere) are starved of full attention, of genuine interest, and of open-minded and focused curiosity.
What it takes to really notice?
Your willingness to work hard on staying in the here-and-now, with awareness of yourself, of the other person, and of what happens in the interaction.
Your skillfulness to pay attention to details and the mundane as well as to the special and the big.
Your keenness to open yourself up so you can sense, wonder, and listen without having to worry about image, heroism, selling, scoring.
Your readiness to welcome candor and directness.
Your eagerness to set aside the many distractions that viciously fight for your attention.
Your adeptness to deal with the unexpected and with what might be uncomfortable.
A mindset. A process. A joy.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
It wouldn’t hurt you at all …
… to laugh a little more about yourself and your imperfections.
… to be a little more like grass: bending with strong wind instead of tensing up and wasting energy in your quest to desperately try and remain straight at all times.
… to take a decent portion of your childhood curiosity and candor into adulthood. And put it to good use.
… to acknowledge the human tendency toward self-deception and say it straight, as it is, to yourself, for starters.
… to practice the power of water: soft, yet at the same time capable of eroding rocks, with patience and persistence.
… to realize that you are always limited by your own experiences and your own language, no matter how hard you work to understand a Bolivian business partner, a Croatian customer, or a Spanish supplier.
… to spend much more time on expressing gratitude to the many people around you, at work and at home.
… to provide your expertise on a pro-bono basis to people and organizations. Much needed and very rewarding.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Among many other things, inspiring and effective leadership is encouraging and enabling others to shine and perform beyond what you yourself, as the leader, are capable of.
If you are afraid to surround yourself with smart people, if you feel threatened by highly capable and clever women and men, I wouldn’t want you to be anyone’s leader.
Among many other things, inspiring and effective leadership is freeing your people of the shackles of fear. Fear of failure, fear of dissent, fear of escaping from conventional wisdom.
If you suppress all risk-taking, if you don’t support and amplify dissident voices, if you worship the ‘good old conventional’ and hoard power, I wouldn’t want you to be anyone’s leader.
Among many other things, inspiring and effective leadership is stimulating your people to demonstrate courage, candor, and care – by demonstrating it yourself, in all you do and say, every day.
If you cannot demonstrate these three Cs, or if you cannot admit your failure to live up to these standards and role-model accountability, I wouldn’t want you to be anyone’s leader.