…You’ve heard it before, maybe a million times.  Does it mean anything to you?

This slideshare was one of the first articles I wrote when I started blogging and it carries a very important message for our world.

  • It also sets the stage for an important post about how to deal with manipulators that will be out next week.

What are your thoughts?I’m curious, have you pondered the importance of those words before?  PLEASE Share!  

“Together You Stand, Divided You Fall.”

Is it a strategy or manipulation?

Several years ago I worked for an organization that invited several key customers to a meeting that would last several days.

Strategy or Manipulation?

The company invested a great deal of time and resources in the event, flying in the customers, planning the event, and entertaining them.

When the invitation was sent, the company said they wanted to better understand their customers’ needs and brainstorm ways to better meet them.

After the customers arrived, many were frustrated to discover that the company wasn’t really seeking to understand their needs at a higher level.  Instead the company was just asking for a rubber stamp on an action plan that had already been created.

A few short months later I began working with someone that consistently emphasized that great leadership is strategy.

At first, I saw this person share a big vision, arm people with the tools and the support they needed and then get out of their way.

However, as time passed I began to realize that this person often worked relationships to avoid dealing with their own weaknesses and to drive a personal agenda.

And I started to wonder…

Energized: By Human Connection

My husband and I are preparing for an extended vacation and made a quick trip to the store to pick up a few things for the trip and a few basics for the remainder of the week we are here.

Energized by Human Connection

We were barely in the store when the call to prayer sounded.  (Which means that for the next 30 minutes we are free to wander around the store, but we can’t receive any assistance from the staff or checkout.)

After gathering all that we needed we joined a group of families in a semi-circle around a produce weighing station, which was already surrounded and now three layers deep.

As a western woman, I still struggle to understand the rules of engagement in these settings.  (Whatever you do -don’t look the men in the eye and don’t smile at them.  And although the women may make brief eye contact and are gracious, they don’t always speak the same language.)

So as I looked for a place to focus, a little girl with enormous brown eyes and tiny pigtails spotted my husband and I.  (She reminded me of Boo from Disney’s Monster’s Inc. movie.)

Below are several REAL examples of opportunities that curious leaders won’t miss: 

1. Managers that work in different departments have daily opportunities to serve each other at a high level.

  • However the executives they report to frequently talk smack about each other and go out of their way to avoid working together.
  • So the managers follow the example that has been set for them – spending more time in turf battles than aiding each other.
  • Their teams become ropes in a tug-of-war.

(more…)

DEEP Understanding Drives Change

Several years ago I sat in a room full of volunteers that were being trained to go into schools and work with children that were at risk of dropping out. One of our exercises was a simulation that was designed to help us better understand the day-to-day realities for their families.

Understanding  Image 12
  • We were divided up into small groups.
  • Each one of us was given a role to play.
  • Then we were given a real life problem that needed to be solved.
  • And a name of a place we needed to go to for help.

In the simulation I was the small child of a single mother that had no car.

  • “My mother” needed food and a job and childcare.

The simulation was timed to help us understand everything that she needed to accomplish in one day – just to bring home food. (Let alone finding a job or daycare.)

Each time we got off the simulated bus, we walked into a facility and stood in a long line. To eventually be re-directed to another place for services that was across town with different operating hours and another long line.

My job was to simulate how a child begins to act as a few hours becomes a day without food, without a nap, without play.