The Question that Changes You
Failures and questions:
Failure humbles you by demonstrating your lack of knowledge and ability. Failures, additionally, burst the bubble of perceived control. Failure breaks up old ways of thinking and doing.
Failures are followed by nagging questions. What would you do differently? What have you learned? These are good questions but they aren’t life changing.
Successes and questions:
Success lifts you by demonstrating your knowledge and abilities. Success establishes current ways of thinking and doing.
Successes are followed by confirming questions. What did you do right? What will you do again? As well as, how will you improve? These are good questions but they aren’t life changing.
Questions that don’t change you:
Thinking about strategies and methods enhances your knowledge and skills but that thinking won’t change you.
The question that changes you:
I asked a leader I’m coaching how his recent experiences changed the way he viewed himself.
The question that changes you is about “being” not “doing”. Engage in self-reflection by asking – how have my experiences changed the way I think about me.
Your answers may encourage your heart and expand your vision. Don’t assume, on the other hand, you’ll always be lifted by the question that changes you. You may not like what comes to light. Self-reflection, whether comfortable or uncomfortable, opens the door to leadership based on being. Courageously step across that threshold.
You’ll find the path to personal fulfillment and fruitful leadership when being informs doing; when who you are frames what you do.
How is your view of yourself changing?
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How is my view of myself changing? In my career I’ve moved from seeing myself as student to leader to commander back to servant and student again. I now buy in completely to Covey’s concept of moving past independence to interdepedence — it’s the only way to affect more than just what’s in reach of my own arms. I’ve demonstrated personal competence; I want to see what we collectively can do. The same collaborative tools that allow us to discuss these posts will allow groups just like us to solve society’s problems. It’s going to be fun to watch.
Dan, great post. One thing that is becoming abundantly clear for me is that life has played a big joke on us in that we are in control, and yet we are not really in control. I don’t even control my own heartbeat. So while I take full responsibility for what I create in my life, I also know that my desired outcome is not always going to come through, as calculated and clear as I have been in planning and executing the plan. Stuff happens…
I think all experiences, failures as well as successes should lead to similar questions. The most important of these is, “What did I learn?” Yes, I may choose to do things differently, or the same way, but I feel I should come away from most things with something added to my fund of knowlege, and therefore be able to add value to someone else’s life. Success does not mean that the same system will work time and again. The only constant is change. So we need to be “present to the moment,” and pick out the affirmations, as well as the lessons.
I suppose the biggest thing for me is that I am becoming less and less patient with waiting for the big things in life to happen. That has required me to see myself differently, to see myself actually accomplishing my goals instead of dreaming of them happening.
Social media has given me a whole different lens through which to view myself — I feel much more confident about my written words than my spoken — but my ventures with the Film School as a volunteer/extra are somehow helping meld all that together.
My view of changing myself is learning, influencing, inspiring and being better than before. I agree that failure make you more humble because whether you accept or not, it is perceived that you lack knowledge. Failure brakes old way of thinking and doing, similarly, success stops you to try new way of thinking and doing. It means success blinds and controls us to look for other options.
I believe that changes start from being and doing both. When we only change ourselves and do not empower and encourage others to change, I think it will not have potential impact. Similarly, simply claiming honesty and allowing others to be dishonest or not stoping others, may not actually encourage honesty. So, it is all about encouraging, helping and inspiring others to be part of change by changing yourself, and showing the values of those changes.
“The question that changes you is about “being” not “doing”. Engage in self-reflection by asking – how have my experiences changed the way I think about me.”
I also often ask myself – how have my experiences changed the way I act towards others? Have I allowed negative experiences to change my reaction to others? Had I allowed positive experiences to blind me so that I cannot see the elephant in the hall?
Ultimately the way I act towards others is a reflection of my personal growth. In otherwords, the doing is a reflection of my being.
“You’ll find the path to personal fulfillment and fruitful leadership when being informs doing; when who you are frames what you do.”
What a valuable statement for all of us. This confirms, yet again, the importance of reflection. Time to think and research before we do.
I am going to open up a bit on here (and thank you Dan for inspiring me to do so).
I have traditionally shy-ed away from leadership roles and I believe it has been for the fear of failure. I have actively decided to develop leadership qualities and attributes (one of the reasons I follow this blog) and quash this restrictive mindset.
My journey is in the early stages but I will change. I will do this by “being” not “doing” — thanks for sharing these powerful words!
Today’s post is just superb! Something that boosts the positivity and compels you to think of your successes more than failures, You have been able to convey the right message for every professional to progress in future. Lessons learnt through our own successes build much greater amount of self-confidence and the faith in your own creativity and solution-oriented approach.
I appreciate your forcing LF Community members to look things differently and that one good question can change the habit of learning from own successes and moving forward by forgetting failures. Failures only teach us to remain calm and not to repeat the same mistakes again.
The question that changes you is about “being” not “doing”.
We live in a society that constantly measures and assesses us on our ‘doing’ – not our ‘being’. We are taught in schools that the measure of our worth is in our ‘results’, not our approach, and that is further deepened when we get to the workplaces focused on ‘results’ and ‘bottom-lines.’
The problem with focusing on the ‘doing’ is that it often leads to empty repetition, or unsustainable change – because the intrinsic motivation – the passion, the joy, the values, are not linked to the changes. Looking at who we are ‘being’ is about exploring what we believe in, what we value, how fully we are showing up in the world
When I coach clients on who they are being – that awareness translates into more powerful actions, accomplishments and results, aligned with their values. The actions are inspired from within, and therefor more powerful and more sustainable than actions that come from a merely intellectual awareness of what they ‘should’ do differently.
Thanks, Dan, for another powerful post.
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I love this thought: “You’ll find the path to personal fulfillment and fruitful leadership when being informs doing; when who you are frames what you do.” That unlocks so much–how your life purpose is found by studying who you are first, not last. How often we introduce ourselves by what we “do” and how limiting that really is. Thank you for the thoughtful post, which will be something I will reflect on for some time.