A young child was learning to play the flute, and asked the teacher, “Master, how long will it take me to become a great musician?”
The master replied, “It will take you as long as it takes a tree to grow.”
The child became disappointed and asked, “But a tree can take many years to grow, how can I become a great musician in less time?”
The master replied, “As a tree grows from a small seed, you too will grow and become a great musician. Your focus must not relate to a length of time, but about the passion and discipline you put into your practice.”
The story speaks to me about the two types of ambition I hear expressed in coaching conversations. Some leaders aspire to be the great musician, the tall tree, CEO, that is to reach the next step of their career, because it is there. There are other leaders whose ambition is to get better and expand in whatever role they are in. It is not my role to judge the different types of ambitions, yet I do observe that those leaders whose ambition is to expand, grow and improve in any role and any situation that they are presented with, tend to rise faster in the organizations than those that intentionally seek the next position.
This story also reminds us that becoming proficient in anything, whether it be music or any other skill, takes time and dedication. The most important thing is to enjoy the journey and not to get discouraged by how long it may take to achieve your goals.
Enjoy your May news2use and I trust you will find an idea, a tool, or a resource to help you develop yourself and those around you.
“Relevant & pragmatic ideas, tools and insights to play at your best.”
I’m not getting any questions or interaction after my presentations; yet I always ask, “Does anyone have any questions.” Am I really so super clear presenting my material or don’t people care to ask questions in these new times?
This question was asked recently by a leader trying to engage others in their change initiatives. The worst question you can ask, after you have finished presenting is, “Does anyone have any questions?”
Finally, I am not alone in my thinking. Now I have a former Presidential speech writer (Daniel Pink) and a former rocket scientist, now law professor (Ozan Varol) who share why asking, “Does anyone have any questions?” is such a bad idea – see it here on Dan Pink’s recent Pinkcast.
For You & Your Team
Do you know the feeling when you want to change things, as the team leader, yet you can’t seem to get people excited about experimenting and trying new things?
Leaders spend too much time trying to psychoanalyze their team when change doesn’t come at the speed they want. Here are three questions that your team members ask themselves (often subconsciously) when you drive them to change:
- Is it safe, can I experiment and try something new without being beaten down later if it doesn’t work out?
- Can I be successful, that is do I have what it takes and the resources to see this thing through?
- Will I be rewarded, not necessarily with money or tangible rewards, yet be recognized for my additional efforts?
If new activities, change, and improvements aren’t happening fast or often enough in your team, step into the shoes of your team members and see how you can strengthen your support around safety, recognition for success, and rewards.
For You, Your Team & Your Business
How do you and your leadership team decide when and where to start restructuring efforts?
Organizational restructuring may start with good intentions, yet often becomes more about accommodating legacies and protecting people and their positions, instead of optimizing the business and creating customer value.
In this episode of NORENBERG’S NINETY SECONDS, learn how one executive team challenged the seasonal pattern of restructuring and why they decided to start at the top of their organization, not the middle or the bottom to improve their executive team performance and business results.
People, Places & Technology
Exceptional off-site locations contribute to sustainable learning and breakthrough results. I recently worked at such a location while facilitating a strategy workshop for 60 senior leaders that wanted to reset their future picture of success and their strategy. They chose the Parador Costa da Morte, located near Muxia, Spain for team and strategy work.
This location is an architectural wonder that is integrated into the extraordinary landscape, with rooms and workshop areas overlooking the sea and breathtaking Lourido Beach. Even the panoramic elevators challenge the status quo, as they move diagonally through the hotel and conference facilities.
The Parador Costa da Morte is reasonably priced and highly functional. Keep this location in mind when you are looking for a remarkable location to support your breakthrough business ambitions.
Thought for the Day
Comfort kills ambition.
Get uncomfortable and
get used to it in your pursuit
of your goals and dreams.
-Robert T. Kiyosaki