Month: March, 2012
In the first chapter of their book, All In, Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick tell the story of the Great Blondin who crossed the 1,500 foot Niagara falls gorge on a tight rope 8 times. He did so blindfolded, on stilts, and with a wheelbarrow. One day, he approached the falls with his wheelbarrow as an eager crowd awaited another successful crossing. The Great Blondin yelled out, “Do you believe I can cross the falls with this wheelbarrow?” “Yes!” they all responded. “Wonderful,” he said. “Then who will get in?” He was surprised when he didn’t get any takers.
The Great Blondin thought everyone was on board with him. How could they not be? They were enthusiastic bunch that had regularly witnessed his passed heroics. What more could he do to convince them? He found out, as many of us managers do, that the troops don’t always follow along as planned.
Ever happen to you, Joe and Wanda?
Joe Kerr: Sure, but the Great Joe Kerr just straps the unwilling to the wheelbarrow and move on.
Wanda B. Goode: Has happened to me too. Getting sustained buy-in to your approach or vision is not easy, especially when the going gets tough. The authors contend that creating a culture of belief is the key. Below are a couple more posts that will wet your whistle.
Just came across an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer by William Ecenbarger entitled, Obsession with Winning Crowds Out Useful Lessons. William explains the necessity of losing… “Losing is part of the price of life – in job, in a relationship, on the tennis court… Losing is one of life’s constant companions, ever unwelcome, ever there. He explains that “Losers changed the world. Columbus missed his target by 1,000 miles. Thomas Edison had most of his inventing triumphs before the age of 40 and in his later years rolled up an ever-increasing number of failures. Mozart died impoverished.”
Unfortunately, losing is taboo in our society, and one of the terrible side affects of our “loser loathing” is that many will avoid losing at all costs by sitting on the sidelines. In other words, they won’t even try. “Americans need to lose their fear of losing, even see that it has a positive side… losing can be positive and ennobling if it compels us to examine why we lost.”
Thoughts Joe and Wanda?
Joe Kerr: Spoken like a true loser!
Wanda B. Goode: The fear of failure is alive and well in corporate America. Failure avoidance is typically the safe play. It’s not very rewarding, though, and it’s not much fun either.
Here are a couple of related posts.
Dan McCarthy hosts the March, 2012 Leadership Development Carnival at his site. Sample the dozens of management and leadership articles posted this month.