May 21, 2024

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

We love stories. They give our lives perspective. They help give context to concepts we share. If we can present a new idea that resonates with the audience, it holds more credibility. But if I share an idea with you, you don’t just digest what I'm saying; your beliefs, perceptions, and point of view come into play. Your experience and bias is always part of the equation. 

The same happens with team culture. If you work in an environment that encourages sales at all costs but you prefer building relationships first, your time will be challenged. Those who measure success solely by financial gain may tell you to just make more calls because their perspective is relationships are a numbers game. 

 It’s the way we do it around here 

 If your leadership style is to give a good portion of your time to help the development of your people to in turn grow the bottom line; someone who tells you the best way to motivate people is through fear, will be a recipe for conflict. The stories we tell ourselves are powerful. They feed our narrative, perspective, and beliefs. They can become our truth regardless of reality or facts. 

And it gets even trickier when you have culture comprised of people from different demographics, psychographics, or points of view. This is not to suggest teams succeed when everyone thinks the same way - just the opposite - but if we become rigid, we can close ourselves off from even better ideas. 

Turning the camera around 

If you have a belief embedded deep inside you, it will require enormous energy for me to first convince you another stance and then share my view. 

Multiple that dynamic by hundreds or thousands in an organization and you can quickly see how the power of story can morph into complication. But if we accept our differing points of view, we both win. 

 The stories we tell ourselves can also get in our way.

May 3, 2024

How About Now?

There's never a good time to buy a new house. It's not the right time to have a baby. I'd be better to wait a bit longer and not take the gig. She will probably say no, so it's better I don't bother. We often look for reasons not to do something, which we discuss in greater detail in a future post, than just go for it. 

I was speaking with a good buddy the other day and this subject must have come up a dozen times in a phone call that lasted less than half an hour. He's working on a new business venture and deciding what moves to make now and what to push to the future. In each case, doing it later seemed like the wise decision. 

Deciding to Decide 

The late legendary musician Neil Peart of the band Rush once wrote; "There are those who think that life has nothing left to chance. A host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance. You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill. I will choose a path that's clear, I will choose Freewill."

Even if we decide to defer something until later, we have made a decision. But why does it often seem easier to put things off? Well, I think one reason might be that we don't have to deal with the consequence of our decision. But as Peart reminds us, then we have to deal with the fallout of not making the call.

Daily Choices

We make a thousand decisions each day from what we'll have to breakfast to whether or not to buy that new car and a multitude in between. So this theory may ring true with you - there's actually never a good time to do anything. Other than breathing, ensuring we drink enough water, and eat enough food to sustain life, the rest are decisions. 

We could sell all our stuff and move to a cabin in the woods. We could quit our jobs and start our own business. We could throw some clothes in a duffle bag and hitchhike across the country. We could do something on the "some day" list. We could decide not to let our lack of decision be our fate.  

But let's decide that later.  
© Kneale Mann people + priority = profit
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