How Come Every Time I Get Stabbed In the Back, My Fingerprints Are on the Knife, by Jerry Harvey, is without doubt, my favorite book title of all time. The book is a series of Harvey’s essays on how we collude in the outcomes in our personal and professional lives through the choices we make. At the core, his message is all about taking responsibility for the consequences of those choices.
After his passing, I wrote a eulogy about Professor Harvey. He is best known for his book and a concept detailed within the book; Abilene Paradox. However, my favorite of Harvey’s essays, is where he describes his concept of “non-teaching.”
In his later years, Harvey was a “professor” at George Washington University (GWU) School of Management. Why the use of quotes? Because while he was an official professor in designation, Harvey did not like the term. Remember, he was a practitioner of non-teaching. In his role as professor, he was to teach Business Ethics 101. It was a required course for all GWU School of Mgt. The class was regularly attended by 100-plus students.
The first day of class Harvey would walk into the overflowing amphitheater-like classroom armed with no notes or any other teaching aids that students have come to expect from teachers.
Harvey would simply ask, as only he could do in his West Texas draw, “Any questions?” He’d pause, full of hopeful anticipation.
Harvey’s pause was filled with silence. With no questions from the students Harvey would, without explanation, leave.
Harvey would reappear at the next scheduled class session. Without delay or comment, Harvey would say again in that same distinctive West Texas accent, “And … any questions?”
Silence ensued. With no questions to answer, Harvey would once again leave.
Well, you can imagine the reaction of the students. Sooner or later, and after several abbreviated sessions following his “Any questions?” a student would ask a question.
“Professor Harvey, why do you keep leaving?”
Harvey’s answer was brief and again, with a question. He’d ask, “Why do you think?"
It’s On You
Why do you think? That is the question Jerry Harvey and I have for you. Why did he leave?
Come join us in one of my upcoming FLP classes for answers; yours, Harvey’s, my own, and that of your fellow participants.
The next FLP begins on September 12th. There are 3 fall sessions to choose from.
While discussing the link between initiative and leadership, a female executive (MJ) in her early thirties and new to her managerial position asked (challenged rather),
“What would you do if you had this really great idea to improve our team efficiency, and your boss rejected your idea?”
Finding the Answer
If winning is your business goal, how can you help your team do it?
As you may know by now, I’m a sports fan, generally, and an avid follower of the Golden State Warriors (GSW), specifically. In case you didn’t follow the drama of the 2018 NBA Championships, GSW won. They play like no other team. Indeed, they actually play as a team, something their competition has yet to understand.
“In the middle of the road of my life, I awoke in a dark wood where the true way was wholly lost.”-- Dante Alighieri, “Commedia”
Certainly, you’ve heard of the stereotypical midlife crisis. The new sports car. The traveling. The bucket list. But that “crisis” begins well before you are in your 40s, 50s, 60s, (and for some) 70s.
The nice house, the good job, prestige, a family, even a swelling bank account. These are common pursuits of most, as we begin our adult chapter of our life.
Graphic: Jean-Pierre Weill, The Well of Being
Topics: Third Act
I ran into this question today from Krishnamurti:
“Suppose you had never read a book, religious or psychological, and you had to find the meaning, the significance of life. How would you set about it? Suppose there were no Masters, no religious organizations, no Buddha, no Christ, and you had to begin from the beginning. How would you set about it?”
Do you on occasion have a kind on ah! hah! or blinding flash of the obvious experience? I had one of these a few weeks past that seemed relevant I should say I am compelled to share. My story or at least my truth of it.
Have you been paying attention? The business community is starting to notice what’s working and it’s trending Teal.
A quick cruise on LinkedIn this morning turned up pieces on how to build a more creative culture and decrease stress by tasking more to your employees. Meanwhile, Entrepreneur published “5 Reasons to Become a Benefit Corporation.” Harvard Business Review explained “What to do When You Inherit a Team That Isn’t Working Hard Enough.” Strategy + Business released a catchy infographic; “Guide to Leading the Next Industrial Revolution” with the first step being to rethink your business model.
A word from Bruce Peters:
As a former attorney, executive coach, host of WCEO-HQ Radio, and the founder of Beyond Teal it has always been my intention to guide individuals and organizations to reach their highest potential. Beyond Teal emphasizes how the greatest difference is made with one individual at a time … bringing them into the Beyond Teal conversation and watching their potential bloom and amplify among their peers. It is with great joy that I get to introduce Cheryl Adas, Beyond Teal’s Lead Consultant, as a valuable addition to this conversation. She brings extraordinary talent, dedication, and natural insight to the Teal process and makes Teal’s expansion within organizations possible … and with it … healthy, robust growth for Rochester’s business community.
Let the conversation flow!
A recent question posed on LinkedIn caught some attention. It was innocent enough. A fellow runs a small tech upstart and wanted to know how to handle his developers whom he perceives as playing ping pong all day.
Advice flew fast and furious. Some applauded the ping pong table as a sign of “good culture.” Others felt strong disciplinary action was necessary. A handful of people offered a careful plan of sequential top-down conversations the CEO should have with each developer. Still others jumped on the opportunity to rant against the alleged lack of a millennial work ethic.
The Golden State Warriors (GSW) are still at it. In the second Western Conference Semifinals playoff game, GSW beat the Utah Jazz 104 - 115. But as discussed in Assists and Collisions Part I: The Golden State Warriors Go Teal, this score is merely an extension of another winning number. Assists. The GSW out-assisted the Jazz 19 – 33.
If assists help you win, wouldn’t it make sense that its opposite – collisions – would take you the other direction? Here at Beyond Teal these two seemingly disparate words work together quite well. So well, in fact, they have a point of convergence. And that is the place where you want to get your organizational culture.