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Successful Sunday, August 20th, 2023

Get the Monkey Off Your Back

a monkey swimming with a baby monkey on its back

What happens when you play small? Not only do you limit your potential, but you deprive others. “I didn’t know you could find it that way.” I often take my gifts for granted. Another colleague told me, “You have forgotten more than I will ever know.” Why have I been playing small? As the great Future Cain directed, I have been sitting with myself and reflecting. Most of my offerings are one-and-done. Perhaps I fear that they will realize I’m a big phony after the dopamine rush ends. One-and-done is not an effective strategy. A mantra for leaders when communicating is:

“Tell the audience what you’re going to say, say it; then tell them what you’ve said.”

—Dale Carnegie

I’ve wanted to scream when a trainer goes quickly through something and says “Okay?” I am not “okay” and feel stupid because they went too fast. When I play small, I am essentially doing the same thing.

When you join a gym, they often provide a complimentary tour with a trainer. If your budget is tight, you generally muddle through after the initial session. You may learn how to supplement your training if you are disciplined. You may get results. Often, you have a fantastic first week, and then your motivation tapers off. As a leader, you should empower your team but also follow up. Check for understanding. Observe and provide motivational and developmental feedback. What if the gym never gave you the opportunity to be supported? They would have one-and-done clients. “I went for a week and didn’t see any results.” I realize that I am afraid of not getting results. If my team is unsuccessful, doesn’t the buck stop with me? Yes and no.

As leaders, we should prepare our teams to thrive. That involves providing a vision, training, and support. I’ve heard an addendum to the saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” “Salt his oats and make him thirsty.” Often, we forget to salt the oats and take responsibility for the horse's water intake. It’s similar to training a toddler how to walk. Some parents hold their hands and let the child stand on their feet. They take a step, and the kid is “walking.” After a while, you get tired of holding the kid up and going slowly, and it is hell on your back. This is why I have not wanted to make more long-term commitments. Accountability, you’re doing it wrong if you work harder than your team.

When the student is ready, the teacher will show up. I must be ready. Pop Quiz. Someone you love tells you they forgot to do something and must spend extra money to resolve the situation. Do you a. Feel sorry for them and contort yourself to fix the problem? b. Tell them so sad, too bad? c. Provide them with additional options to research. Full disclosure, I was leaning towards option A and thankfully was writing this blog. Leaving them completely alone was unsatisfactory, even though it was their solution. Option C excited them and can provide a better outcome. I made them thirsty, and they also will think differently should they encounter the same situation.

I thought I was a commitment-phobe. In truth, I am tired of taking on responsibility that is not mine. Thank you again Alexis Mobley, M. Sc. for your introductory coaching session. Doing the work is never going to be one-and-done. When I began to reflect on why I was hesitant to commit, I thought it was for entirely different reasons. I had not answered my question, so I continued my ruminations in my blog. I am not responsible for everyone else’s success. As I was provided with tools, nothing happens unless I do the work. If I want to be a better driver, I must practice driving. If I want better answers, I must ask myself more powerful questions. I am not small at all. I did not realize I was stooped over from carrying an extra load. Namaste

If you are tired of being a doormat and want to get out of your way and lead, join me on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023 from 630pm-800pm EST.