It was almost the same day.
Three separate conversations.
Three inspiring people.
One common theme: the distorted lens.
The distorted lens is similar to the Hubble’s Mirror Problem that resulted in distorted and out of focus images, but in this case the distorted and out of focus images were how each of these people viewed themselves.
The distorted lens is subtle, because you can still see yourself. Like Hubble’s problem, the flaw is so slight and happens so early that it may go unnoticed. Unnoticed until someone else looks through the distorted lens. Images that were supposed to be accurate and clear are blurry and fuzzy. That is when we find the problem.
The distorted lens convinced one of these people that they were incompetent, instead of realizing that their prior job was just the wrong behavioral fit.
The distorted lens continually interferes with another’s ability to see themselves as inspiring to others despite their accomplishments and people gravitating towards them to be coached/trained.
The distorted lens downplays the impact that the third person is having on others in their workplace, and caused real surprise that they were voted MVP amongst their peers for the positive influence they have on others, both personally and professionally.
All three of these conversations illustrate how the distorted lens interferes with our ability to view the impact we have on others, and how others view us.
The distorted lens is flawed for a host of reasons, one of which is our own fears, insecurities, Our Narrator, and baggage. The distorted lens tries for force us to view today through our past failures, struggles, and pain as if those events disqualified us, instead of making us who we are today.
The bad news: the more I work with amazing and talented people, the more I realize the distorted lens is pretty universal.
The good news: like an optometrist who can measure your eye’s distortion and prescribe corrective lenses, we have a few tools to measure the distorted lens of your own self-view.
Measuring your “Sense of Self” is the first step. We can see if the distorted lens is slightly off, or requires more assistance. Since you have been viewing your life through the distorted lens for so long, you may not even notice how blurry and out of focus life has become.
If you need help with the distorted lens, reach out and contact us. We are happy to help fit you for some “corrective lenses” or at least help you understand the level of distortion.
If nothing else, remember that the distorted lens is out there, and the next time you are tempted to view yourself in a negative light, or discount your achievements, pause for a moment and ask yourself,
“What if my view is through the distorted lens?”
You hear the term in organizations.
We want people in our organizations to have more Ownership.
Ownership of their work, their deliverables, their customers.
We want Ownership of new initiatives, projects, and ideas.
Ownership means taking the responsibility and leadership to create something and move it forward.
But there is another side of Ownership.
Ownership can mean holding on so tightly that others are not allowed to participate.
Ownership can mean simple edits or suggestions cause an overreaction and are rejected.
Ownership can create narrowly crafted solutions that didn’t consider other needs and perspectives.
These two sides of Ownership create the Ownership Dilemma.
Ownership can stem from the need to control.
But Ownership will take control when needed and move the project forward.
Ownership can stem from the need for power, status, and recognition.
But Ownership is not afraid to step into positional authority and lead.
Ownership can be ego-centric, not letting others views or ideas into the mix.
But Ownership takes pride in their accomplishments and achievements.
The Ownership Dilemma can disrupt your organization, and we have a few tools that can help.
One way to measure Ownership is through an assessment of “driving forces” or what motivates us. One area measured is “Commanding.” This “Commanding” score can identify for you and your employees the healthy levels of Ownership, or if Ownership may become too overbearing and controlling. We can also learn where Ownership is under-developed and how your team can work to improve their Ownership of their work, projects, and customers.
Are you struggling with the Ownership Dilemma with your team? Are you wondering why your Ownership seems to manifest as control? Are you hiring and wrestling with getting the right fit and the right level of Ownership?
Understanding your own style, and your collective team styles can help you move past the Ownership Dilemma, to a healthy level of ownership. We are here to help, contact us today about how we can help you and your team better understand their styles, including their level of Ownership.
We start businesses when we already have a job and a full plate.
We go back to school while juggling work, life, and home.
We write stories, and more stories, and sometimes books.
We get other certifications and trainings.
We side hustle on our side hustle.
We quit our jobs and become free agents.
We purchase a second business.
We leave the security of a familiar place to start fresh.
We move on to our second careers.
We move on to our third careers.
Why do we do these things we do?
It would be so easy to stay comfortable.
It would be so easy to stay put.
It would be so easy to stay.
But, we don’t stay.
We move forward on our secret dreams.
We move forward on the next idea.
We move forward on that next goal.
Why do we do these things we do?
There is a small voice that says, “What if?”
There is something that keeps us moving.
There is something that reminds us to try.
Moving, leaving, starting, and trying seems to be part of us.
Why do we do these things we do?
I am not entirely sure, but let’s keep doing these things we do.
(Sorry for the hiatus, but we are on the move again.)
We make plans all the time.
One of best parts of coaching is helping leaders, organizations, and people make and carry out plans.
Over the years, I have noticed two distinct types of plans.
Plan type one is the safe bet. Rooted in “reality” this plan type is achievable with a little stretch, but when you dig this plan is the result of future fears, doubts, and concerns.
“You gotta be careful, we are not sure what things will be like next year. What if the business takes a downturn? What if this doesn’t work?”
I nicknamed Plan type one, the Hopeless Plan.
The Hopeless Plan starts with a laundry list of what can go wrong and assumes that all prior time not completely focused on this direction has been a complete waste of time, and there may not be enough time to try anything new or risky.
“I am too old, and should have started this a long time ago if I really wanted to do this…”
The Hopeless Plan acts like a constricting funnel of all good, cool, and creative ideas, and severely limits what seems possible.
But we have to give The Hopeless Plan a little credit since it does result in small achievements or progress.
But there is another plan type.
Plan type two acknowledges the present reality, but does not allow the same limitation.
I nicknamed plan type two: A Hope-Filled Plan.
A Hope-Filled Plan acts like an amplifier taking the history, the experience, and current resources, combining them into a vision of the future that seems larger, possible, and exciting.
A Hope-Filled Plan is risky, interesting, and requires you to keep moving.
A Hope-Filled Plan allows you to dream and see beyond the present circumstances.
Recent examples of A Hope-Filled Plan include:
Plans are good.
Plans help you achieve your goals.
But choose your plan type carefully.
A Hope-Filled Plan may be what you really need and deserve.
Sometimes we gravitate towards people who are similar to us, or have had similar experience.
They have “walked in our shoes” and we assume they understand us, our issues, and our struggles.
This gravitational pull becomes stronger during training or workshops when you ask people to break into small groups. The same industries, positions, and titles want to talk to others with similar positions in similar industries with similar titles.
To disrupt this tendency during a recent day-long workshop on Coaching, we encouraged each person to find someone radically different from their industry, position, or title. These pairs would practice coaching each other through a current struggle or challenge.
After a few awkward moments, the partners found each other and began to coach each other through the framework we provided. We emphasized that the right coaching framework allows you to help others despite not being a subject-matter expert in their field. (The beauty and the risk of interactive training is you get to see first-hand whether or not your ideas and concepts really work. Sometimes you brace yourself for potential failure.)
We were about to see this coaching concept tested with one particular pair that were so radically different (law enforcement and water treatment) that we paid close attention to their progress.
During the debrief, we heard from those being coached, and the practicing coaches.
We waited to hear from our radically different pair.
“You know, I was a little hesitant at first. I thought, how could they know anything about what I do? But it was the Outsider Perspective that made me look at this in a way I never considered.”
The Outsider Perspective isn’t immersed in our world, so they ask hard questions (they don’t know what they are not supposed to ask).
The Outsider Perspective isn’t bound by our perceived limitations, so they offer insight into potential solutions.
The Outsider Perspective is looking at your issue, problem or challenge with a fresh point of view.
The Outsider Perspective can challenge your assumptions and your bias.
The Outsider Perspective may be exactly what we need.