Do Not Look Where You Fell

Success coach and emotional resilience expert, Suzanne Dudley-Schon shares her brilliance in this week’s Upside Thought. 

Suzanne understands that the beingness of leadership matters more than the doingness of leadership. 

You can take all of the tactical leadership actions that generate success and not be a leader worth following. 

This week, she’s written about committing to growth – one of my favorite topics! 

Happy Reading! 

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Do Not Look Where You Fell, But Where You Slipped. ~ Liberian proverb

Human beings are designed to survive, hard-wired to figure things out. We are always looking for “why?” Why something happened so we can learn, be smarter, safer, and more successful. We watch for patterns. We notice cause and effect. 

When taken on a very concrete level it’s brilliant design.

We learn: IF I cover myself in honey THEN insects and animals are very attracted to me. We then quickly experience the subsequent consequence: I am covered in ants or am now prey for a larger honey-seeking animal. Hence, we discern that honey, rather than being topically applied in large quantities, is best consumed by ourselves or used in a trap. 

The skill of causality is natural and valuable, until things get linked that may or may not actually be connected. Our perceptions fail us.

For example, when un-connected things are deemed causal it’s known as “magical thinking.” We made a link that isn’t actually there.

At other times our thinking/learning gets us into trouble when there is a mis-assessment of the variables at play. We might have misinterpreted a situation and are then operating from a limited view and/or partial information.

In reflecting on the proverb above, how can we relate it to business or everyday life? 

The insights of your fall are opportunities to learn more about the true reasons for why something happened or what brought you to that place and time. By discovering the answers to these inquiries, you can make informed choices about what to adjust to ensure a different and improved outcome.

You may need to look further “back” in history for the origins of the problem. Or you may need to look “down”/within a process or system to locate the root flaws that are playing out. 

Looking more thoroughly and carefully from an analytic perspective about any situation will help us move from finger pointing to problem solving.

ACTION:  The Upside Challenge of the week is to identify situations where you have associated blame or causality. Look again. Ask more questions. Uncover details from more vantage points. Discover if it changes or confirms your earlier perceptions.

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