What is one small thing you could do today that would make you happy?
The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899 – 1961), American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist.
Last week my daughter, Irene, and I prepared for a test. Subject: Spanish. Topic: Types of nouns. As we review — personal and common; abstract and concrete; collective and individual — I wonder what is the purpose of a nine-year-old learning such things.
What do kids want to learn today so they’re ready for tomorrow?
My answers are inspired by what I see great companies doing with their teams.
1. Learn to identify the problem. Irene will quickly jump to answer a question with great enthusiasm. Her answers are creative, logical and related to the topic. Even so, sometimes she’s not answering what is asked but what she assumes the problem is. When a doctor messes up the diagnostic, the treatment might be great, but it is not going to fix the problem.
Learning to identify the problem is the most important skill.
2. Learn where to find answers: When I studied at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, teachers often asked us to get resources from the library. I knew Anthony and Manoj would go, so I’d wait and make photocopies the next day. This went on for four years. When the time came to do my thesis, I was screwed. To do my research, I needed to go through floors and floors of library, hallways and dark corners. I was lost in a maze of books. Anthony and Manoj finished six months before me.
Kids and teams won’t find answers if they don’t know where to look.
3. Learn to enjoy the process: Growing up in Canada, Mom never told me to do my homework. Teacher sent us stuff to do, yes, but it was always cool and fun. Because it’s impossible to keep up with the amount of knowledge produced…
Either you like learning or you’re in for a long ride of unpleasant experiences.
The present and the future are looking for people who know how to identify problems, and to navigate the seas of knowledge while enjoying the process. How do your kids and teams deal with learning to learn?
If it doesn’t feel vulnerable, the sharing is probably not constructive.
BRENÉ BROWN (1965), American professor, author, and podcast host; particularly known for her research on vulnerability and leadership.
On September 21st, I was interviewed live on the Goucha TV show in Portugal. Here’s the link to the full conversation. We talked for about fifty minutes. Spoiler! I kind of break protocol at the end. It was an amazing experience. At all times I felt taken care of by the folks at TVI. Thank you!
Here are a few of my learnings:
– Questions asked before are not necessarily questions asked during. The purpose of many of the questions I was asked beforehand was to help Goucha get to know me better so that we could have a better conversation. Many of the things we talked about were not addressed before the interview.
– Surprises happen and emotions run high. It was stunning to see how comfortable Goucha was on set. Not the same for me. I did not know that they had contacted my family and friends to send a video about what I mean to them. Even my daughter, Irene, recorded one! It totally caught me off guard. It made me relax and show my authentic self. But it also made me very emotional and slightly less focussed, which leads to my third point.
– When you think you’ve prepared enough, prepare some more. Given the improvised nature of the conversation and its emotional tone, when Goucha asked about my work building badass teams in companies, I was so “high” that I did not say what I had prepared. Instead, what came out of my mouth was something generic and short of the beautiful work teams accomplish. I had been told several times: “Prepare your key points well”. I thought I had. Clearly not enough. 😉
All in all, if all live conversations on TV unfold like this one, I’m eager to go back. 🙂
Love to hear your impressions…
Tomorrow I’ll be live on the Goucha TV show in Portugal. Manuel Luís Goucha is one of Portugal’s most notorious presenters. He is a unique conversationalist who has his guests share life stories.
I’ll let you know how it goes. As for now, I’m a little nervous. But the preparation has also had me reflecting. Here’s a thought: Without an open mind, our heart cannot grow.
So I’m also feeling grateful to have been surrounded along the way by many people who have help me keep an open mind so that my heart could continue growing to face and embrace what life sent my way. To them, thank you!
Wish me luck.
No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.
MAHATMA GANDHI (1869 -1948), Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist and political ethicist who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule.
Photo by Julian Wasser//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. (1929-1968), American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesman and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.
Photo by Josh Olalde on Unsplash
I enter Terminal 1 of Barcelona Airport and walk toward the departure screens. My flight is not on it. Shit. I check my ticket. Wrong terminal. I pull out my phone and call Juan, my buddy taxi driver. “Juan, I’m in the wrong terminal”. “Hold on. I’m coming”.
We speed into Terminal 2. I rush to security control. Laptop. Liquids. Backpack. Carry-on suitcase. I’m in. I still have time. Shortly later we’re in the air. I made it. I relax.
It’s cold and I reach up to get my sweater from my carry-on. My carry-on! Where’s is my carry-on? Oh shit. Where did I leave it? At security control. Fuck!!
I thought of what was in the suitcase: 2 pairs of new pants, 2 pairs of my comfy shoes, my favourite white shirt, my leather jacket, my Bose speaker… Just as I was about to freakout, Jonatan’s words popped into my mind.
Jonathan is a young barista I met a few years back at a hotel where I delivered a workshop. On the second day of the workshop, I notice Jonatan was not wearing his glasses. Curious, I ask if he had forgotten them at home. He explains he lost them. “That sucks”, I say. As he finishes pouring my tap beer and hands it to me he says:
What we pay with money is inexpensive.
In the airplane, I ended up thinking:
What if instead I had lost my desire to live or the love of my friends?
Then came immense gratitude. I ordered a drink and smiled.
Thank you, Jonatan, for the wisdom!
Nothing is more exciting and bonding in relationships than creating together.
STEPHEN COVEY (1932-2012), author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People