“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work,” says the painter Chuck Close.
Waiting for the moment to be right, for the conditions to be perfect, for the idea gods to strike you…it’s probably not going to happen.
If you really believe in inspiration, then schedule time for it. Make your morning writing or thinking block, or your nighttime routine the time you wait for inspiration. Otherwise, just get to work.
How can you make things so clear that you don’t ever have to say, “it seems something was lost in translation”?
What values or expectations can you describe? What standards can you clarify?
What stories can you tell? What pictures can you draw?
Strive for a “hell yes!” when you ask if people understand…
Stress, fear, that uncomfortable feeling when _________.
So many things can fill in that blank. We all have fear and are worried about our future.
“What’s going to happen next?”
I find that the fear response comes when my mind doesn’t know what to do. When I’m not properly prepared.
I don’t need to have the right answer at the right time, every time, I simply need to have a plan.
Preparation is productive if only to be ready when the time comes, even if it turns out I’m wrong.
Avoiding the prep because I might be wrong never works.
This scenario happens to me many times a day: I’m talking to someone on the phone and then a buzz comes in my ear, or theirs, and the primary conversation takes a hiccup.
“Um, yeah,” as one of us takes a quick glance at the phone to see what the notification needs from us.
It only takes a second. The conversation doesn’t stop…and yet we need to do a micro reboot. It does take away.
And, It happens a lot.
There’s lots of talk about the truth about one’s ability to multi-task. Can you actually do more than one thing at a time? Sure. Can you do them both well? Maybe. Or, probably not.
It’s not the thing that distracts you that matters, it’s the fact you’ve become distracted, no matter how short the time period or small the event. Check the science.
And, don’t even get me started with smartwatches.
Oh yeah, everyone thinks that’s the right thing to do.
Everyone says it’s true.
I’ll get everyone together and we’ll get it done.
Is “everyone” really all of the people? Who’s important, and who is optional to be in the group of everyone?
If you need everyone on board you better be sure that everyone knows what’s happening. And if you don’t need everyone then just ask the people who are crucial.
So, there is probably a really good way to do the thing that you need to do. Others have done it before, I’m sure, and you can get a lot from their experience.
You can research the best way to do this thing, you can rely on your own experience or you can ask a friend.
In my experience, I find that relying on my own best practices, for that thing or other similar things I’ve done before, is the best way to get a satisfactory result.
If I think about the way I like to do things, the way the best things have worked out for me, I find that there aren’t really an unlimited way to do things…
So, do something, see how it feels when it’s done, redo it, and go from there.
The best way to practice, is to practice.
Are you one with yourself? Do you know who you are and what you care about?
Can you answer that about your team?
How do you talk about yourself and the relationships you have both to yourself and to those involved?
Do you take time to answer these things on paper?
You’ll find that clarity rolls right out of your pen. Try it.
What can I get you?
How can I help?
What do you need?
Asking (and answering) these questions is not always easy and not always at the front of our mind. As people we typically think of our own needs and wants first, and as coaches are wired to see the answers for others. So, asking for input and demanding that others consider what they want and need–and hold them to it–is a novel idea.
The idea of serving your people isn’t simply bringing them ideas and gifts. It’s allowing exploration and demanding that they show up for themselves.
Who gets to help shape your program?
Who doesn’t get to? Who is supposed to show up and shut up?
Who MUST contribute?
Think about how you want your program to be, to become, to feel to those who come near it.
Think about it, write it down, and share it.
You’ll probably think today’s version is lacking, or even terrible, at some future date. That’s ok. Think about it, write it down, share it and see what happens.
Coach, your open door policy only means people can see in as they walk by.
Kids aren’t going to simply stop by to talk about all of the important things.
No matter how young you are, this “they know where to find me” mentality is abdicating your responsibilities as a leader. You’re saying that it’s on them, the junior partner in this relationship, to seek you out, to even know when they need something from you.
It’s on you to be sure that they are doing ok, that they know what you and team membership requires of them, to know where they stand relative to the team standards (those are really clear, right?)…
Leadership is an activity.