#Whatif We Valued Trying?

We humans love to divide the world: yes, no; either, or; black, white; true, false; winners, losers; successes,Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder Huffington Post (designed by behappy.me) failures.  Yet little in life is really that nice and tidy, despite how much we want it to be.  And our world is not going in that direction anymore.

Many of us know that new discoveries, the disruptions, the innovations are found in the grey – in between the extremes, by recombining what is out there through And and Both instead of Either and Or.  As someone with a head of black, white and grey hairs, believe me, I live it!

Perhaps one of the most dangerous of these artificial constructs is that of successes or failures.  This has insidiously permeated so many of our systems – especially the language of entrepreneurship and innovation.  We don’t allow a middle or blended path.  When we look at the successful entrepreneurs, how many of them were successful the very first time? How many had overnight successes that truly were overnight, instead of years? Very few. 

What if we start talking about Tryers (which obviously means people will go to the opposite extreme of Non-Tryers) instead of just winners or successes?

What if we started encouraging and supporting those who try, over and over, be it the same or a different venture. 

What if we helped the Non-Tryers to understand why they didn’t try? Perhaps it is fear, time, who knows… but perhaps we could develop a support structure to allow them to become Tryers, in their own time?

What if we started to infiltrate our education system with tools, lessons, examples, opportunities to Try so that our children could become Tryers at earlier and earlier ages.  And What If we rewarded them for it? And What if we rewarded our teachers for teaching smart Trying?

While a full societal adoption of the Trying construct certainly will take time, you can start now! There are many ways you can start embedding Tryers into your organization’s lexicon.  So What If you, tomorrow, asked one of your people to Try and What if you back her or him up when she/he raises objections for why something couldn’t be done?  What if you just started with that?

Thank you to @mattmurrie for helping me more fully embed “What If” in my lexicon.

It's Obvious

Another fabulous post by my friend Jessica Esch.  Her sketches are addicting, which is a very good thing.  Her recent post was the number 1 hit on my site in March and her previous post was another top hit, of course. Thank you Jessica for letting me share your wisdom and talent!

 

Red, Right, Returning...

Red, Right, Returning – when returning from the sea, make sure the red buoys are on the starboard (right) side to stay in the channel.  This phrase was drilled into my head as a kid when I learned to sail, leaving the secure confines of our harbor for the big wild sea.

Every business, organization, entrepreneur, C-suiter, yes, humans need ballast - guiding principles, missions and core values to help navigate the big wild sea.  

Herein lies a fundamental paradox: the importance of getting outside one’s comfort zone, exploring, discovering, lens-shifting and living at the edge based on a foundation of values providing guidance and ballast – like the bell buoy at the harbor entrance.

What’s your Red, Right, Returning?

  • For businesses and organizations, it’s your mission and purpose – the reason the organization exists, the way you benefit your customers, employees and stakeholders, the way you create powerful outcomes that others can’t;
  • For entrepreneurs, C-suiters and humans, it’s your personal values you won’t compromise, your integrity, character, the impact on those that work for and with you and the impact on those around you – family, friends, acquaintances.

The photo is of the Pemaquid Point Gong Buoy #2 at the entrance to the Johns River and Pemaquid Harbor.  It is my favorite bell buoy gifting a sound that gives me comfort, rest and peace.  A sound I return to over and over – after a long day of excitement, stress, hectivity, whatever (yes, I have it on my iPhone).  

As you approach the end of summer, before the fall arrives, what is your Red, Right, Returning? What is your ballast? Defining, refining, communicating that is not a ‘nice to have’, it’s not something that ‘can wait til later.’  It’s something that is critical to your organization and business, to your customers, your employees, your stakeholders and yourself.  Please spend some time to reflect, rediscover and then launch out to sea, knowing that buoy is always there.