Wisdom for Teams #42


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.

Wisdom for Teams #38

Whether we stay or whether we go – to be courageous is to stay close to the way we are made.

DAVID WHYTE (Born 1955), Anglo-Irish poet; His writing explores the timeless relationship of human beings to their world, to creation, to others, and to the end of life itself.

Wisdom for Teams #37

Impact Players [i.e. people who are doing work of exceptional value and impact] see uncertainty and ambiguity as an opportunity to add value.

LIZ WISEMAN (1964), Researcher and executive advisor, author of New York Times bestseller Multipliers:  How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter.  

Do You Own It? Or Does It Own You?

Photo by Marcus iStrfry on Unsplash

When I look at my life, I see a cliché: a rollercoaster — a few flat moments, and lots of ups and downs. For the most part, it’s been fun. But sometimes it overwhelms me, especially when things don’t roll as expected. Eventually, I realize I better get a grip.

What is the point of riding a rollercoaster, if you’re not going to own the experience?

As a coach, my job is to help people get unstuck, and that starts by them owning the experience they’re going through. As long as the experience owns us, we’re stuck and we can’t move forward.

Owning the experience means recognizing realistically what is happening — no more, no less — and then accepting it just as it is.

Only then can we figure out what to do next. Here is what I do to help myself and others own the experience.

First, frame the experience in a more constructive, less apocalyptic light. What is fact, and what is interpretation? What else could this mean? What is useful here? How could this help us grow?

Second, share the experience transparently with others. When we overcome the vulnerability of openly sharing our struggle, we dispel the power the experience has over us. As Mr. Rogers* would say, if it’s mentionable, it’s manageable.

Worse than the experience of feeling overwhelmed, is the experience of not owning this experience.

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*Mr. Rogers was a TV host, author, and producer; best known for the preschool TV series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”.

Wisdom for Teams #29

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.

ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL (1847 – 1922), Scottish-born inventor, scientist, and engineer, credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone.

Wisdom for Teams #28

The passion for truth is silenced by answers which have the weight of undisputed authority.

PAUL TILLICH (1886 – 1965), German-American existentialist philosopher and theologian, widely regarded as one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century.

Wisdom for Teams #26

People learn more from their own mistakes than from the successes of others.

RUSSELL LINCOLN ACKOFF (1919 – 2009), American organizational theorist, consultant, pioneer in the field of operations research, systems thinking and management science.