Resist talking about the work…

Here’s some awesome advice from a colleague.  It goes something like “Resist talking about the work.  Do the work and clarity will come.” It’s too easy to sit around a table spinning and debating, refiing and tweaking an idea or an approach before we’re ready to write it down.  To let it live.  And in those minutes (and sometimes hours) we’ve taken seeds of ideas, just tiny inkling of what could be, and rounded their corners effectively sucking the possibiity right out of what they could become.  We kill things before they live because we demand of ourselves perfect ideas …

Look in before you look out

When on a new project (or…ehem, job) it’s easy to think it’s immediately important to first pursue relationships outward and upward.   To aim attention on the big fish and the big names.  “Go meet those people.” “Build those relationships”.  We feel pressure to stick our hands out and introduce ourselves and begin to make our mark.  That’s not how I work.  First, I like to look in.  Then I’ll stick my hand out. Looking in means understanding the immediate team you’re on.  If teams within teams are like concentric circles, than I’m talking about your first circle.  The folks, …

On Feedback

Feedback.  There’s too much to say abou it, for now I’ll  just say: know why you’re asking for it. It’s easy to slip into a maniacal focus on feedback for the work and only for the work.  When in fact, feedback can be a powerful tool to do more than just improve the work itself. It’s an opporunity to reveal what worries people, what’s most important to them, where their attention lies and what gets them riled up.  It’s a window into somebody’s brain and heart.  It’s an amazing tool for engagement. You know that Stephen Covey saying (wow, I’m …

A new role, a new way of working my old way

  “There is love enough for everybody in this world, if people will just look.”- Kurt Vonnegut I sat at the table with John D.  We’d just finished delivering a 3 day professional development course for a big and diverse group.  In the lounge with a drink in hand, we nearly said the same thing at the same time.  Here’s the jist: If we want to get the best from people, our job is to love them. In that moment we sat there awkwardly, silently acknowledging that we both had put words to a thought, a responsiblity we felt, that …