Story: This past week, I had the privilege of teaching an EMBA class on the topic of Advancing Adaptive Cultures. As part of the curriculum, I do a unit on Play and Experimentation, where I talked about the importance of modern leaders being much more inclusive and open to team members’ ideas. During a break, one of the students (all executives) asked me if he could lead an exercise with the cohort. Gulp… This was a “moment of truth.” What to do? What if it’s a flop and ruins the flow of the day? What if it distracts us? Yet, here I was talking about the importance of leaders letting go more, trusting their team, learning to experiment and try things. But, I didn’t know this guy hardly at all. How could I risk my class to this experiment ? What’s the best and worst that could happen? “How much time will it take?” I ask. “About 20 minutes,” he replies. “Ok” I say. He asked if I wanted to know the details, and I said, “No, you tell me it’s a team building exercise about play and experimenting. I trust you. Let’s make sure we don’t use more than 20 minutes. Other than that, give ‘er and let’s do it.” Well the exercise ended up being the perfect endorsement for the value of play and experimenting at work. His classmates loved it. And frankly, it was better than the exercises I had on the subject. What a win for ALL!
Key Point: Moments of truth present themselves often. This is when the world conspires to give us a chance to determine if our feet and lips are moving in harmony. We all know it’s easier to say than do. However, when we stay true to what we genuinely believe, it is a powerful endorsement and confidence builder for all. Really, when I step back and think about it, turning 20 minutes over to this student had literally no risk. Whatever the outcome, we were living out the importance of play and experimentation, and I was modeling what I expect leaders to do more of. All I had to do was let go a little and trust my beliefs.
Recommendations in leading yourself and others:
- Be aware of moments of truth that arrive to test your beliefs and values. Then have the courage to act accordingly.
Lip and foot harmony in leadership,
One Millennial View: I’m not the biggest fan of New Year’s Resolutions, I prefer a consistent state of goal setting and betterment that doesn’t revolve around the first of a year, month or a Monday. That said, this time is a great excuse to define your beliefs and values, recalibrate and apply them to walk the talk, and harmonize your lips and feet.
Edited and published by Garrett Rubis