Surrounded

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“Don’t just do something!  Stand there!”

–     Richard “Dick” Heston (1933 – 2002), my dad, an Iowa farmer and factory worker and the best business leader you could ever hope to have

We think of being surrounded as a bad thing.  And it can be. Maybe it’s the movies we watch; Butch and Sundance, Thelma and Louise or General Custer…  When we’re surrounded by the enemy with no chance of escape, it can be pretty daunting.

That’s one reason it’s pretty important to intentionally surround ourselves with people who can keep us from getting into a pickle like that in the first place.

As Dad admonishes, it’s also pretty important to take time to gather their insight as we consider what comes next, instead of just diving in.  Our nature might be to just do something, anything!  To see action instead of a course toward a specific outcome.  In those times, we want to be surrounded by the best possible advisors we can access, and we need to take time to consider our options and their input.  Yes, whom we select to keep closest, and have as advisors in times good, bad and neutral makes as big a difference as just about anything else we do.

We don’t have to give this group a name, but if we did, these might be good options:

–   Personal Accountability Board

–   Trusted Advisors

–   Advisors, Counselors and Teachers (I like the ACT acronym…)

–   My Team

Who will always be honest with us (and with themselves in supporting us)?  Who knows our strengths and our weaknesses as well or (preferably) better than we do?  Who understands our hopes and dreams, and is able to see our circumstances in the context of the future we seek?

Who takes the phone call at an odd / uncomfortable hour, listens and calmly engages with questions (more often than answers), context and communication that makes us better.

Why not surround ourselves with those people?  Keep them closer than close and consciously seek to put value in to their world, as well…

This week, as we consider the benefit of teaming let’s focus first on being surrounded, in the best possible way.

In the meantime, Jim, Drew, Chris, Phil, Peter and Mark — thank you!


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