Piggies Under the Table

Early in my career, I was reaching for bigger impact in my work, but something held me back. You know, those inner voices that say “You can’t do that” or “It’s too risky” or whatever. My friend Pat began to refer to those voices as the “piggies under the table.” I loved having a playful way to acknowledge these voices and so it stuck. We all have “piggies” in one form or another. They shape our lives and our leadership.

Leadership Imperatives for Complexity #4

Complexity is messy. When we encounter a messy problem, most of us tend to pay attention first to “the problem” as something separate from us. For example, if the quality of public education in my town has declined, I look at things like school financing, teacher preparation, curriculum, etc. I implicitly define the problem as “out there.” While those things surely deserve attention, I’ll be more effective in making changes if I also consider myself as part of the system and thus something that might be changed to shift the system.

Do you know what’s happening?

What keeps coming up is the importance of deeply sensing what is happening. The more deeply I can feel into what’s going on with the team, the more we can accomplish together. As leaders, we can use this sensing to make every interaction more powerful. In this post, I’m going to tease apart what I believe is involved in this sensing. My experience suggests there are 3 essential components.