I hope the observations of the past few weeks have been beneficial and that you are seeing patterns that can be strengthened or perhaps eliminated.
Once these have been established, and you have taken time alone to consider your actions and reactions, you are now ready for the next steps.
Verganti refers to this step as the sparring partner. Choose someone that you can review your insights with. I am having lunch today with who I would consider my ‘sparring partner’. He is a close friend for nearly 25 years and knows me very well. He has been a great support through many professional endeavors. However, what I most value about him is when he slows down the conversation and says, and he almost always uses this phrasing “Karl, I must respectfully disagree…..” and on he goes to dissect my thinking. I learn so much from these interactions! You have to have input, such as this, in order to progress and develop new neural pathways. As mentioned before, the brain needs to be forced into new areas.
From the new ideas fostered by the sparring partner step, go to the next step of radical circles.
Now, again, you are probably thinking that this is overkill. Too many steps. Too many new things. You go to that thinking because a classic urban legend, a powerful myth, is that the human side of the professional skill base should just come naturally. I am not sure where that comes from, and it needs to be put to rest. NO other skill set developed that way. High performance comes from being intentional. More on that in the next blog.
Radical circles allow the new thinking to be vetted out by minds beyond the sparring partner. Verganti suggests that these participants also be involved in the ‘what should you be doing differently’ type of thinking. You might be thinking, “where am I going to get this type of participation from others?” Good question. I would suggest asking some people to lunch, give them some preparation on what you want discussed, along with some details of your findings, and see the exponential results that occur. Don’t let the learning go to waste. Take careful notes and summarize them into a pattern you can use for learning.
I get SO much pushback from people on this! It is just too much work or so they say. However, these same people have no trouble going through a nearly nine month training program in order to run a marathon. They are zealously dedicated to their success yet won’t apply that to this much more important exercise that will effect their leadership potential exponentially. Be intentional about this.
Next time we will discuss elite level attainment, which focuses on intentionality. Most of the discussion points will come from the book Attainment, by Troy Bassham. It would be helpful to pick up a copy and have it reviewed before the next post.
Review Thinking Differently – Part One.