Beyond and Beneath – brainstorming

Change is hard, so seeking out a mentor to talk through ideas can often help, even on a Sunday morning…

Sunday 12th February 2023

From: Badger Dowdeswell
Sent: Sunday, 12 February 2023 10:36 AM
To: Celine
Subject: Reflections on what we talked about today.

Hi Celine,
Thanks for calling me this morning and then emailing me the link to your new company website. It is definitely a change from the current one. My first thought was that it has been carefully constructed and offers a fresh take on what you do in your business. Well done.

As with all site refreshes, you have to trial them and then refine them iteratively. Listen carefully to feedback from a range of sources. Many will be ill-informed but amongst the noise could be a nugget of gold.

Regarding what we discussed, remember that you do not have to be the solver of every problem, but you can be the gentle guide who ensures that as a team, you all stay on-course and do not miss the one bright idea you were all hungering for. Acting on that idea sometimes requires difficult decisions. Winston Churchill understood that well:

Finding that one dominating point .. the thing which lies at the root of the problem or need. Then you need just one bright nugget of a fresh idea. That is all it takes to catalyze a change.

That happened to me this week. In the midst of lots and lots of discussion about my iron deficiency and numerous medical explorations over nearly three years, one doctor on Thursday raised a point no other physician had talked to me about. I seized on it and used all my research skills to investigate it using authoritative, peer-reviewed medical literature (i.e. not Tik-Toc videos or conspiracy sites 😉). I now have a hypothesis, something to take back to my doctor for him to consider. Give the experts the right data and let them do their stuff. Trust their judgement but make sure they have all the relevant data, especially the stuff they were missing. You have told me how much you love your great team so give them the opportunity to lead you through this change as much as you lead them.

Here is that quote from General George Patton I mentioned today:

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

Patton knew that people hate to be micromanaged. A good leader tells his or her subordinates what is expected, or what the overall goal is. They don’t need to be given a step-by-step explanation. It’s a waste of a leader’s time, and worse, most people resent it.

Let’s talk again soon.

Author: Rockweather

I am a writer, musician, teacher, and researcher at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in Auckland, New Zealand.

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