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If you know me and if we’ve talked… Especially if you’ve worked for me or with me and ever tried to convey something important about your life… I owe you an apology.
Let me be very clear about this. I’ve gotten this wrong – for most of my life.
Have you ever heard the Prayer of St Francis? You might not remember that’s where this comes from but I bet you’ve heard it.
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love, where there is injury pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love…
for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
And here’s the part that’s killing me with AWARENESS today. That I may not so much seek to be understood as to understand.
the problem is that I translate it first. I convert it into logic. into my circumstances, into my past experiences and I try to find a way to relate to it. Maybe that’s not a bad thing, but here’s what typically comes out…
OH… I know how you feel.
I felt that way once and here’s my story. and suddenly we are making it about US instead of them. I’ve done it far more times than I’d like to admit.
Like I said… I owe you an apology.
Look at it another way. Have you ever had someone you love tell you about an encounter at work, church or school and you were ANGRY about someone treating them bad… but if you’re honest,– you’ve been on the other side of it and it was a calculation, or just good business and you don’t understand why the other person is so upset!
If you’re a leader, I KNOW you’ve been there. We’ve convinced ourselves we can’t ‘care’ about how a decision will impact everyone, so we sterilize it and put the needs of the MANY above the needs of the few. But if we were the few, would our decision be the same?
So… what do we do about it? How do we truly understand? If you’re like most of us, as righteous as it seems to want to ‘understand’ … cause we’re supposed to love God first and love our neighbor as ourselves, right… to ACT based on that understanding weakens our position OR… so we think.
So, we put up the walls, convert everything to LOGIC… and ultimately deem it’s not possible for us to do business and truly ADMIT we understand or care enough to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes..
So… like I said – I apologize. But there’s more.
I WAS WRONG. See, I’ve asked you to go to battle with me, to help me achieve worthy goals that I wanted you to UNDERSTAND how it impacted the company and me. But I can’t ask you to do that anymore if I’m not willing to do the same.
Does that mean I can always do what you want? Probably not… but here’s what it does mean. If we’re on the same page, if the mission we’re on helps you reach your personal goals as well, we’ll be a real team. And there is no success without a team.
Here’s my apology. I’m sorry I haven’t conveyed the mission well and invited you to be an irreplaceable part of it. I’m sorry if my decisions haven’t seemed to convey that I care about you and your personal development as part of this organizational body achieving a worthy objective.
I’m sorry if my desire to win hasn’t included the desire to help you win at the same time. And if you’ll give me a chance, I’d like to get it right from here on out, even if it’s not always easy and if I don’t always get it right.
That’s my definition of success. Let’s get clear about our shared Definition of Success and move our relationship and win the way all great teams win.
Let’s do it Together.