Connecting with what's real...
"our division is underperforming..."
"revenue in each vertical"
Overhearing the phrases without context, I always get this sense that it is some sort of game. Children playing at being grownups.
Last week at a conference, I was sitting in the hotel bar with others watching attendees coming downstairs dressed for the evening event. It prompted us to begin thinking that it was time for us to get ready ourselves. As one of the guys looked at his watch, Jen-the-Ideator said something like "Why do you need time to get ready? You're a guy." And it launched a conversation about confidence, how minimalist packing was resulting in an unfortunate shoe choice for me for the evening, and the frequent disconnect between how people look on the outside and how they feel on the inside.
The man sitting with us--someone who exudes confidence--mentioned that the 5-year-old inside was never far away.
I am continually surprised how often insecurity and fear of rejection can interject themselves out of the blue into any social situation. How easy it is to flash back to the middle school lunchroom when walking into a dining hall full of people you don't know.
Maybe it wasn't a surprise that our conversation took this track. The keynote speaker was Tim Sanders—who wrote Love Is the Killer App—one of my favorite business books because it is about the power of love in shaping success.
For all the polish of our suits and heels, we are emotional humans having a business experience. And business is highly relational. How we interact with others—our care of them as we pursue cost-efficacy and market synergies—really, really matters. I think that Robert Fulghum was right. All we really needed to know, we learned in kindergarten:
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.