Do you know or know of anyone who is “fully developed”? I don’t.
Bob Morris, in a comment he left on this blog post: A Training Session is Just the Beginning
Bob Morris is witty. And knows how to get to the point quickly. In my blog post, I had written this line:
The problem is simple. Too many employees are not fully developed.
And Bob left his comment:
The problem is simple. Too many employees are not fully developed.
I thought about a snarky response: Yes, I know of one fully developed person. Jerry Jones is certainly fully developed as a General Manager in the NFL.
Then I thought about a serious response. Is there anyone that I know of that we could say ever fully developed? I thought of Michael Jordan’s dominance, and that last shot he perfected as his physical skills began to fade (if only a little. I wrote about this in this blog post: But We Can’t All Be Michael Jordan – The Challenge: Building Success with Average Folks.
I thought of Meryl Streep, surely as close to “fully developed” as any person in any field in history. (Or, Daniel Day Lewis). To read about their preparation, to read about their immersion in their roles…. Well, that sounds pretty fully developed to me.
But, of course, Bob’s point is clear, and one I agree with, and have tried to write about often.
We are, none of us, fully developed, and we know it. In fact, I would propose that the very existence of this blog is testimony to the fact that people in all aspects of their work lives, (and their personal lives), know that there is always another new thing to learn, another new skill to work on, or another long-neglected improvement that maybe it really is time to tackle.
We live in a world where the best keep trying to make the best better, and that means constant development of every resource that an organization has – including the most importannt resource, the person at work. And it is each person’s responsibility to work on constant improvement – constant “development” of his or her skills, capabilities, abilities. Aiming at getting better, perpetually. Tweaking, improving, discovering…
Peter Senge wrote: “People with a high level of personal mastery are acutely aware of their ignorance, their incompetence, and their growth areas.” And within that short sentence we find a lifelong agenda. Be aware of your own ignorance; be aware of your own incompetence; be aware of your own growth areas. And, after progress is made, even great progress, there will always be more to tackle in these three challenging areas.
So I have a little challenge for you (and for me). Think hard about this one. You have discovered in yourself, or someone has pointed out to you, one of your deficiencies – one of your “growth areas.” If your reaction is, “I don’t want to change that,” or, “I probably never will change that about myself,” then you have just identified the right starting point.
So, get to work.
From the segment on Brazil:
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva walked into the President’s office. Known simply as “Lula,” he is a former metal worker with a fourth-grade education — and a doctorate in charisma.
Lula told Kroft he has “found out something amazing.”
“The success of an elected official is in the art of doing what is obvious,” Lula said. “It is what everyone knows needs to be done but some insist on doing differently.”
From the segment on Jerry Jones:
His dad, Pat Jones, had show business in his blood. Selling groceries, he wore a white cowboy suit and a Stetson. In the middle of his store was the coolest entertainment technology of the day – a disc jockey broadcasting on radio. Customers loved it.
Little Jerry caught on quick – give ’em a show. Better yet, make it a spectacle.
And here are the two lessons.
Lesson number one: success is all about “the art of doing what is obvious.” These words by Lula, the outgoing President of Brazil, are profound, brilliant, yet so very simple. There are so many other examples of this wisdom. We talk about “keeping it simple.” It may not be easy – but it is obvious.
Lesson number two: “give ‘em a show.” Describe it any way you want: entertain; engage; make it “amazing.” Good advice for speakers, and good reminders that everything you do matters almost as much as anything you do…
From Sara: Open letter to Jerry Jones: “Jerry, I heard you interviewed on TV last night and you were asked about the chemistry of the Cowboys football team. You basically told the reporters that good chemistry would happen when the team wins. You went on to explain that bad chemistry is to be expected when the team loses…in fact, I think your conclusion was that “chemistry” isn’t important in your locker room. I am not surprised the enormous talents of these athletes don’t translate into a winning team. Do you hear your own message, Jerry? You are devaluing the very element that your game is missing – being a team. You can’t just pay people and expect them to be a team. There are so many directions to take the conversation from here! I could point you towards building teamwork by reading Good to Great by Jim Collins; or talk about the responsibility the leader has to results as described in Primal Leadership by Goleman, Boyatzis, McKee. (BTW, those are both relevant topics for the Cowboy organization.) In my role as executive coach, I would ask you “How are you regarding the players?” You seem to view them as objects; you pay them so they should do what you want. Martin Buber the 20th century philosopher calls that an “I-It” relationship. That’s where you treat people as commodities, not as people. There is better way. It is to see and treat people like people. Want to win the Super Bowl? Read Leadership and Self Deception by the Arbinger Institute and give me a call.
Cheryl Adds: Most people might tell you that it wasn’t the words you spoke last night in that interview that they recall, it was the emotions you displayed. There was arrogance and blame plain as day. It was the underlying tone saying, in other words “It’s not my fault; blame someone else.” And what great justification you have for feeling that way; after all, you pay all the money so it must be someone else’s fault. What’s missing is the acknowledgement that emotions are contagious as pointed out in Resonant Leadership by Annie McKee and Richard Boyatzis. This translates into an emotional viral infection of the team where every member of the Cowboys now has permission to say and worse, feel the same way. Any time a group is saying to themselves, “It’s someone else’s fault for this result”, in your case losing, then the culture created is one of blame and no trust. How can team members work together effectively with no trust? And who is working on taking responsibility and thus working on a solution to this problem if they are busy pointing fingers towards their team mates? There will never be accountability if the leader is not accountable, visibly and emotionally. As McKee, Boyatzis, and Goleman point out in Primal Leadership, “The glue that holds people together in a team, and that commits people to an organization, is the emotions they feel.” Still think chemistry isn’t important in the locker room, Big J?