#3–Ambiguity: Paradox or Hypocrisy?

The 3 Greatest Barriers to Partnership: Part 1 of 3

In the next three posts, I’d like to introduce what I’ve identified as the “3 Greatest Barriers to Partnership”. Each of these three barriers also apply to learning and communication… which are fundamental building blocks for individual stability, stable partnerships, and stability at community level. Addressing stability at these three levels is a core principle of LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®.

#3 Ambiguity: Paradox or Hypocrisy?

We face ambiguity often… so often, I propose, that it is a natural condition–not a problem or challenge. After all, how do we know we know the whole truth. We know what we know… from our viewing angle and perspective. But let’s face it, we live in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world where ambiguity is a natural condition. Being able to navigate in the face of ambiguity is a vital skill.

The story of the Blind Men and the Elephant illustrates how ambiguity is so prevalent… and gives us insight into need to communicate, continuously gather information and knowledge, respect others’ perspectives, collaborate and promote transparency.

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YOURSELF TO BLAME by Mayme White Miller

The Power of a Single Poem

The experience, education, and training I’ve had in my life continually highlighted the significance of a sense of personal responsibility. I’ve been far from perfect, but I actively attempt to counter the trap of blaming others. This is a valuable key to keep us focused on our purpose, goals and objectives, rather than the conditions of the journey.

Dr. Ben Carson continually shares this valuable key to his professional maturity. Introduced to him early in his childhood by his Mother,  she had him read this poem every time he made an excuse, whined, or complained. This simple poem that was the catalyst to his amazing life. I hope it can provide similar insights and inspiration to you.

Yourself to Blame
by Mayme White Miller

If things go bad for you

And make you a bit ashamed

Often you will find out that

You have yourself to blame

~

Swiftly we ran to mischief

And then the bad luck came

Why do we fault others?

We have ourselves to blame

~

Whatever happens to us,

Here is what we say

“Had it not been for so-and-so

Things wouldn’t have gone that way.”

~

And if you are short of friends,

I’ll tell you what to do

Make an examination,

You’ll find the faults in you…

~

You are the captain of your ship,

So agree with the same

If you travel downward

You have yourself to blame

Far too often we find ourselves complaining about our situation or environment rather than taking the APPROPRIATE NEXT ACTION necessary to create the life we want to live. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of blaming others or routinely feeling victimized. The next time you find yourself headed in that direction, reflect on this poem: “make an examination” and see what you find.

No excuses. “You are captain of your ship.” You can do it! Upon reflection, “make an examination”, you will likely find that there is an APPROPRIATE NEXT ACTION that you can take and you already have everything you need (including permission). ACT NOW!—Take the APPROPRIATE NEXT ACTION that will move you closer to your objective. Only those who act will triumph!

DISCUSSION QUESTION:  How do you catch yourself from falling into the trap of blaming others?

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Joi Ito: Want to innovate? Become a “now-ist”

from the Director of the MIT Media Lab

Here are a few key points from Joi Ito’s TED Talk. Mr. Ito, the Director of the MIT Media Lab, is a leading thinker and writer on innovation, global technology policy, and the role of the Internet in transforming society in substantial and positive ways.

A few guiding principles he highlights:

Deploy or Die. You must get stuff out into the real world for it to really count (or exist). Don’t wait for large institutions to do it for us.

Pull Over Push. It’s about bottom-up innovation… democratic… chaotic… hard to control. It’s not bad, but it’s very different. Many of the traditional rules don’t work or are outdated.

Learn How To LearnEducation is what people do to you and learning is what you do to yourself.

Compass Over Maps. Strategic planning is important, but do not get bogged down over-planning, over-organizing, and over-strategizing. Have a STRONG COMPASS to guide you on your journey.

So I think the good news is that even though the world is extremely complex, what you need to do is very simple. I think it’s about stopping this notion that you need to plan everything, you need to stock everything, and you need to be so prepared, and focus on being connected, always learning, fully aware, and super present.

So I don’t like the word “futurist.” I think we should be now-ists, like we are right now.”  Joi Ito

DISCUSSION QUESTION:  What was your primary takeaway or inspiration from Joi Ito’s TED Talk?

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In the Hands of Providence: Joshua L. Chamberlain and the American Civil War (The University of North Carolina Press; Edition Unstated edition (August 15, 2001))

This remarkable biography, In the Hands of Providence, traces the life and times of Joshua L. Chamberlain, the professor-turned-soldier who led the Twentieth Maine Regiment to glory at Gettysburg, earned a battlefield promotion to Brigadier General from Ulysses S. Grant at Petersburg, and was wounded six times during the course of the Civil War.

Chosen to accept the formal Confederate surrender at Appomattox, Chamberlain endeared himself to succeeding generations with his unforgettable salutation of Robert E. Lee’s vanquished army.

After the war, he went on to serve four terms as governor of his home state of Maine and later became president of Bowdoin College. He wrote prolifically about the war, including The Passing of the Armies, a classic account of the final campaign of the Army of the Potomac.

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Why LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®?

What is our duty?

I wanted to take a moment to describe why I was inspired to create Lead From Your Current Position®. Knowing this will give you a better understanding of the concept and insight into the rationale of why you should Lead From Your Current Position®.

What is our duty?

Developing this concept is deeply personal. In my journey through life, I’ve consistently sought to identify my purpose… to identify my duty.

In addition to the preparation my parents and schooling provided me, I’ve been fortunate to serve in one of the greatest leadership apprenticeship programs in the world: serving in the United States Army. A Retired Army Officer, my military career spanned 24 1/2 years where I served in a variety of positions as an Airborne Infantry and Attack and Cavalry Aviation Officer. I had the privilege to lead five platoons and command two companies and an ROTC battalion. Additionally, I taught at the Aviation Captain’s Career Course, the United States Military Academy (West Point), and Indiana University (Bloomington).

Always a Soldier, I’ve spent my entire life inquiring about leadership and learning. This has continued well after my transition from military service.

The Answer

The answer to the question of my duty, as it developed over the years, became very clear: Lead From Your Current Position®.

The Distinctions of Lead From Your Current Position® 

I began to discover and refine the distinctions of the phrase.

  • Lead = Contribute to an environment where others flourish
  • From Your = From Your… NOT from somebody else’s (you have everything you need… even permission to act)
  • Current Position = Geographic Location NOT title

What if we all simply did our duty (LEAD… contribute to an environment where others flourish) right where we are now (our current geographic location)… and didn’t wait for some future event/achievement or permission from others. Simply DO IT.

Lead From Your Current Position® is about Self-Development, Partnership, and Service.

Again, the answer is simple: do these things… actually BE these things.

Four Questions

The four key questions you should ask yourself every day to Lead From Your Current Position® are:

  • What is my primary responsibility as a Leader?
  • What is the ONE thing I should create, cultivate, and encourage in my environment?
  • What is the ONE thing I should eliminate in my environment?
  • Are there additional questions that would give me insight into how I can lead from my current position?

What a incredible world this would be if 7.3 billion people lead from their current position:  contributing to an environment where others flourished, right were they are. I’m completely devoted to live and share this idea. I hope you will join me on this quest.

Choose to Lead From Your Current Position®… when you do you will be on the path to realize your leadership potential, serving and contributing to others.

What are you waiting for:  The world is calling out for your genius!

DISCUSSION QUESTION:  What is your definition of LEADERSHIP?

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The LFYCP® One Week Challenge

“The Top 4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Day to LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®”

I’d like to provide you with a basic framework that will help you refocus and achieve extraordinary results each an every day. I call this framework: “The Top 4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Day to LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®”. The world is calling out for your genius, but the noise and clutter of your world may deafen that call.

Try answering these four questions every day for just one week and see what a difference it will make… and let us know what kind of results and insights you have below.

Four Questions

The four key questions you should ask yourself every day to Lead From Your Current Position® are:

  • What is my primary responsibility as a Leader?
  • What is the ONE thing I should create, cultivate, and encourage in my environment?
  • What is the ONE thing I should eliminate in my environment?
  • Are there additional questions that would give me insight into how I can lead from my current position?

Sign up for the FREE “Leader’s Guide” on my homepage if you haven’t already done so.

Challenge a Friend

Forward this link to a friend or loved one and challenge them to complete the LFYCP® ONE WEEK CHALLENGE. Ask them to sign up on my homepage to receive the FREE “Leader’s Guide” with “The Top 4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Day to LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®” and three free bonus tools:

  1. The Personal Brand Equity Evaluation by Tom Peters
  2. A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard
  3. Youth by Samuel Ullman

DISCUSSION QUESTION:  What did you create in your environment so that others could flourish during the ONE WEEK CHALLENGE as you set out to LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®?

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