When I’ve too much to do in work and life, I recall my mentor, Cornelia Shipley, saying, “What do you need to be to do what you want to do?” To handle more work may not be accomplished with additional knowledge and skills without a change in how we “be” with the task. Cornelia’s question challenged me to understand how being supports additional doing.
When you are stuck and trying to make a decision, what do you tell yourself? One answer people give for inaction is fear of failure. Yet, when probing this response, we may find fear of success is an equally important reason for indecision. Both fears may prevent us from moving forward, but for different reasons.
Listening is cited among the top attributes of successful business leaders. Listening, reflecting on what is being said, and discerning meaning behind employee stories, the “real” or base-line issues, requires leaders to inquire, to ask questions which cause an employee to stop and think.
Successful business leaders know the difference between inquiry and leading questions. Leaders may have opinions about an employee’s story and probable course of action and may be tempted to ask questions which lead to their predetermined conclusion. Successful leaders, however, realize the importance of employees’ finding their own truths, so employees will embrace the outcomes of their actions.
I’ve always been an average golfer using my father’s hand-me-down clubs and, I didn’t spend much time golfing due to lack of commitment. As a business executive, I spent most of my golfing career playing charity golf with clients where individual performance wasn’t important. As a result, my game didn’t improve much over the years, but for the same reasons, I learned a lot about divots!
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a coach, musician, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.