Listening is important. Not listening can leave you with a freezer full of frozen drumsticks...or worse.
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“Sometimes you need a friend whispering advice in your ear and telling you to breathe at those most difficult moments in the work when you really need to hear it.”
Someone really nice said that to me yesterday. Great timing as I gear up to simultaneously launch my first book into the world, wrap up a crazy year, plan for an even crazier 2017, and plan for the holidays. So, I’m passing along the advice.
For a long time people have been asking me when I’m going to write a book. Well, it’s finally that time! On December 15, you’ll be able to download Finding Time to Lead. I hope you like it.
Engagement is leaning in when someone is talking.
Engagement is caring enough to disagree.
Maybe it was the cold. It was 12 degrees that day.
Maybe it was distance. I was half way through my 6 mile run.
Maybe it was being alone on a trail.
Whatever it was, I was reflecting on the beauty of what was around me.
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” –Winston Churchill
“The (one) who pursues the mere attainable should be sentenced to get it… only through the unattainable does a man achieve a hope worth living and dying for – and so attain himself.”
– Eugene O’Neill
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As a loyal University of Kansas graduate and die-hard Jayhawk fan, in my 38 years I have never supported or cheered for anything related to the University of Missouri.
I am not that woman gleefully balancing on the gym ball in the ab workout ads. I do not like to do core work. I’m just not consistent. I feel like no matter how many different exercises I do, that little soft squishy mommy belly is not going to go away. I want one exercise for the core to just take care of it.
Learning new things can be hard. Teaching can be even harder.
Teaching and leadership have a lot in common. A lot of times as a leader – or, for example, someone trying to teach leadership practices – it can feel like you are leading the horses to water, but no one’s drinking.
“True empathy’s impossible. But if a piece of fiction can allow us imaginatively to identify with a character’s pain, we might then also more easily conceive of others identifying with their own. This is nourishing, redemptive; we become less alone inside. It might just be that simple.” – David Foster Wallace
Empathy and creativity keep coming up in conversation – certainly while following current events in the news, and also around the “water cooler” at Elements.
This week, I was the beneficiary of a simple but powerful act of unexpected appreciation. I received, from someone I have not talked to in over a year, a brief thank you note for a minor role I played in helping with a project two years ago. I’d been following the project’s recent “next level” success, but am no longer personally involved.
Even on vacation, some familiar new practices can pop up.
Over Memorial Day weekend, I was lucky enough to meet some friends south of London where we toured Petworth House – a Downton Abbey-esque manor and grounds that have been turned into a museum and vast public park.
It’s not about them.
It’s not about what they should have done.
It’s not about what they should have said.
It’s about you.
It’s about how you choose to show up. Even when it’s hard.
It’s about choosing what you’re going to do.