“Success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react and reinvent”. Bill Gates
“If you want to be fast and agile, keep things simple. Speed isn’t the result of simplicity, but simplicity enables speed”. Jim Highsmith
Did you catch the clue in today’s quotes about our subject matter? Yes, it’s agility and leading with speed. I was talking about leadership with one of my new colleagues and mentioned the characteristics hungry, humble, and smart. Gino Wickman in his book Traction would say Get it, Want it, and Capacity where capacity includes the emotional capacity or emotional intelligence to do the job well. I may be stretching that capacity includes humility, but I think you must be capable of bigger things without letting them get to your head. My colleague was quick to add agile and he couldn’t be more right. It’s not enough to be smart enough to get the job done or driven enough to see the project to completion and having the capacity to get it done is important, but all three of these things aren’t good enough if you can’t learn, adapt, and change quickly. Success loves speed. Today’s leader needs agility.
This week marks about 5 weeks of the stay at home order here in Illinois and much of the nation. This week I did a little personal inventory a little reflecting back on the week to see if I’m on the right track. Remember, Steve Jobs told us we can only connect those dots looking back. And I have to say that looking back I feel pretty good. If I was in a job interview right now and the interviewer tried to test me by asking what 3 valuable uses of my time were during my period of unemployment. I feel confident that I would nail it. I’m learning about financial advising, I’ve enrolled in some free online classes – blows my mind that people don’t take advantage of these great opportunities, I’ve started this podcast – which by the way you can also start for free and I’ve gotten outside and worked on staying fit. Also free!
The binge watching couch potato.
Not for the interviewer, but for you. I’ve also seen the first three seasons of Money Heist – love it! Except that they killed my favorite character – not a spoiler alert since you don’t know who my favorite is and Except that while playing a board game with the family the other night I heard Tokyo narrating my next play in my head. “now is the time for mommy to make her move, but she’s screwed. She missed the opportunity to play her awkward pieces and now there’s no place for her to play on this board. The professor told us we would face this, but where is the professor now? We haven’t heard from the professor since the coronavirus began.” Yes, I love this show, but I don’t love it in my head.
Jonathan Estrin says “The way we spend our time defines who we are.”
So I’m sharing this story because there are so many choices right now –
You can choose the couch
You can choose to dive into sharpening the saw or learning new skills
Can you see the tyranny of “or” here? If I choose one path I choose to deny myself of the other path. Or is oppressive. It’s why so much self improvement, so many diets, and so many new ideas fail. Poor sad little “or”. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other or choose just one path. As Jim Collins would say in his book Built to Last “Embrace the Genius of AND.”
Instead of being oppressed by the “Tyranny of the OR,” liberate yourself with the “Genius of the AND”— and set yourself free. You can embrace two extremes at the same time. It is possible. You don’t need to choose between A OR B, figure out a way to have both A AND B. In my earlier example I have used my time for self-improvement AND I’ve been a couch potato. Just not equal parts of both. (more…)