Good Afternoon, Friends!
“Can you help me pick out a rock for school?”, my young daughter asked me. I said, “sure, let’s do it tomorrow,” and she ran off to play. I went back to the spreadsheet that I was analyzing.
The next day she asked again, and then the day after, and then another day went with me writing lines of code. Finally, on Sunday, she asked without any enthusiasm. I peer over my monitor and check my watch. Another fifteen minutes before kickoff.
In a rush, we walked outside. I kept checking my watch.
As we walked the yard, I offered many suggestions, all the while glancing at my watch. She examined my recommendations looking for something in each rock. Nothing seemed to meet her approval, and time was ticking away. Finally, I found a beautiful quartz rock about the size of her tiny fist.
“Laura, check this rock out. I think it’s perfect. See how beautiful it is?”, I said thinking that kickoff starts in a minute. “Oh, please let this be the one,” I thought.
She examined the rock, turning it over and over. I am not sure what she was looking for, but she had something in her mind. After a few seconds, she asked, “Is this a boulder?”. “Oh, yes,” I said. “This is the most beautiful boulder anyone has ever seen.”
A glance at my watch – Kickoff. She was puzzled. After a few moments of thought, she looked at me and said, “My teacher said not to bring in any boulders.”
Searching for that rock was a life lesson on so many levels for me. Life was not spreadsheets, lines of code, building a proposal, or the next Patriots game. Life was about rock hunts and other adventures.
I forgot about the football game. We walked down to the local park and found the perfect rock that was not a boulder. I got back home at half-time with something more valuable than two quarters of the game. The Patriots lost, but I won.
But the second lesson was more subtle – did I take the time to understand what my daughter wanted and needed truly? She needed a beautiful rock that was not a boulder. She wanted something exciting and not like everybody else’s stone. I had no clue what she was looking to find.
As Intentional Leaders, everyone we lead is looking for their rock. Each has their requirements and specifications. How can I help if I don’t understand their motivation? How do I know when they find it?
As Intentional Leaders, we have a responsibility to bring greater understanding into the world. Our understanding helps others find what they are looking for, build deeper connections, and achieve more significant outcomes. It builds a bridge between the gaps and differences. It allows looking beyond skin-depth uniqueness between us. Ultimately, we have better personal relationships, better organizations and a better world.
Take a moment each day to stop and go on that rock hunt adventure.
When I was young, I was short and underweight for my age. During Phys Ed, I was always one of the last people picked. I never felt included or part of the team. After all, would I be on the team if they had a choice? No!
Consequently, I was never 100% present while we played whatever game was chosen. You would find me spinning around on the soccer field, or daydreaming in right field, or just in the way on the basketball court. I was a liability for any team that was lucky or unlucky enough to have the last pick.
Today, I came across this Harvard Business Review article, “To Retain Employees, Focus on Inclusion – Not Just Diversity.” It is critically important to create a culture that is inclusive and makes all employees feel welcome.
The most important line from this article is, “In an ideal world, all leaders would be adept at understanding their employees and making sure they didn’t lose any through neglect or ignorance.” I could and will argue that inclusion is significant in the workplace and essential in our personal lives.
So, pick me!
[VIDEO] Worlds Apart
Not sure why I teared up watching this interesting beer commercial. It is compelling and demonstrates that we have an incredible capacity to live, love, and understand. Intentional Leaders can positively impact the lives of others by simply taking the time to listen to someone else’s story.
By the Numbers
A survey of employees, HR professionals, and CEOs at companies across various industries emphasizes that empathy in organizations must continue to evolve. Ninety-two percent of employees surveyed believe empathy remains undervalued, a seven percent rise from the previous study. As employees increasingly look to their employers to reflect their values, Intentional Leaders can make workplace empathy even more of a priority than it is today.
Download The 2018 State of Workplace Empathy report.
(What’s So Funny ‘Bout)
As I wrote this newsletter, the song “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” started playing on my Spotify playlist. English singer/songwriter Nick Lowe wrote this song in 1974. I was listening to the version most famously covered by Elvis Costello and the Attractions.
It is the perfect pop that contains so much more than a driving rhythm and a catchy melody. As Intentional Leaders, we can intentionally choose to bring more understanding into the world.
So where are the strong?
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
‘Cause each time I feel it slippin’ away, just makes me want to cry.
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?
I will be delivering on my favorite Keynote, “Finding Your Kilimanjaro,” for the 2021 National Associate for Educational Procurement – New England
When: October 25th
Where: Gurney’s Resort in Newport
Finding Your Kilimanjaro
At 4:45 am Tanzania time on October 11, 2015—at 18,500 feet—Tim Hebert realized he was just 841 feet away from failing to make good on a promise his eight-year-old self had made to his beloved grandmother—to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro successfully.
This Keynote is for any business leader who aspires to:
- Approach goal-setting in a more purposeful, intentional, and healthily paced way
- Tap into different tactics for overcoming the seemingly impossible, like the 10-second mentality
- Choose meaningful adventures and ask for the universe’s help in achieving them
The Intentional Leader Update
Last week, I received a formal notification that my book is complete, and all copies are sitting in a warehouse in the UK waiting for the official release date. My publisher is sending me twenty complimentary copies. I can’t wait to open the box and experience the rush of seeing 40 years of work come to fruition.