Your Moment of Lift
I just finished reading “The Moment of Lift” by Melinda Gates – what a wonderful book! She shares experiences from the work she is doing with the foundation she and her husband started in 2000. One such experience she writes about is the horrible misconception that the uber-rich can solve world problems by throwing money at these issues. What she discovered is that this approach usually creates problems while not really solving the existing issues. (Check-out her book to learn more – I loved her story about discovering what the women of Africa really want.)
What I most want to share with you is the “aha!” moment I had while reflecting upon Melinda’s experience. So often, leaders make assumptions about how to solve a problem, fix an issue, or achieve a goal based on what they know (whether it’s really true or not). They often dispense solutions, fixes, and ideas (kind of like the uber-rich throwing money at world problems) without taking the time to truly understand things like framework, distinctions, underlying issues, key stakeholders, or ideal vision. What results is that leaders are wasting time and resources on the wrong stuff – the essential stuff that makes an impact on performance, culture and relationships.
Here are two questions I’ve been playing around with for myself:
- How could I be wrong?
- If I looked at this (issue, problem, goal) upside-down, what new insights would appear?
These questions are helping me to expand my own thinking and to lead more effectively. Let me know how they work for you.
p.s. Shout-out to our 2019 LeadFORWARD class – congratulations on a successful third retreat! I was especially inspired by the questions you are asking of each other – challenging and supporting. Well done!