If you aren’t prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.Sir Ken Robinson
Logic will get you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere.Albert Einstein
Speaking of quotes, last week I inadvertently attributed Charles Dicken's quote about the best of times to Charles Darwin, sorry about that.
The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.Henry David Thoreau
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.Mahatma Gandhi
Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.Victor Hugo
It’s good to shut up sometimes.Marcel Marceau
In the confrontation between the rock and the stream, the stream always wins, not through strength but by perseverance.H. Jackson Brown Jr.
I envy paranoids; they actually feel people are paying attention to them.Susan Sontag
Reprising my shameless self-promotion in case you missed it. In October, I was a guest on the Northern Trust Advisors Podcast, and I just learned that this podcast made their top ten for 2021. So exciting! Here’s a link if you want to listen to a 1.5-minute excerpt.
Rufus Miles, an American government administrator in the 20th century, is the originator and namesake of the aphorism “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” As with most great quotes, it is as relevant today as it was then.
This message was driven home to me when I spent an evening with nine women who began our careers in the ’70s and ’80s. All of us were at the gathering at the invitation of one of the people present, i.e., we all knew at least one person and none of us knew everyone. We talked about many things and then serendipitously began to share stories about challenges early in our careers. In the spirit of full disclosure, the stories mostly were about challenges of being young women faced with inappropriate situations in male-dominated companies.
A few days later, I talked with a male colleague, a longtime friend, and mentor. I told him about our shared history conversation and the direction it took. After telling him a few of the stories, he shared his own stories from the other side. Such as when he was in a leadership position and falsely accused, offered sexual favors, etc. I was struck by the reminder that the more we share, the more common ground we find. And that these stories are really about the personal side of business.
Like my women colleagues and me, my male colleague had his own stories to tell. We talked about how these stories shape us, and that for women and people of color, because of the power equation, sometimes they shape us more.
I was struck by the value of shared histories in creating connections and overcoming stereotypes.
Wouldn’t it be cool to sit at a table with men and women and people of all colors and backgrounds and tell our shared histories of career and life challenges that shape the people and leaders we have become…?
If you can help people see themselves in your story, then you have a connection.Muhammad Ali