~ Benjamin Disraeli
It came to my attention a few weeks ago that I had been playing small.
No one said to me, "you failed", I didn't get a curt email.
I did not hear it in a book, not a soul gave me a second look.
The result I had was thinking flat, ideas were slow creativity sat
Tucked away in cold dark rooms, wondering about its pending doom.
Dawn then struck, a second look, innovation lying in a crook.
Woke up and saw the time had come, got back on the horse and it started to run.
Giant Steps are double timing, I am playing BIG again and now I'm rising.
Thanks for indulging me. Have you thought about whether you are expecting big things consistently vs. having a fleeting thought about something BIG, potentially happening for you then as quickly as it came it went?
I have had both and I have observed and began to talk to colleagues and clients about the nature of the phenomena. There are plenty of books about playing big and thinking big. One of favorites and where I got the Benjamin Disraeli quote is from the David Schwartz The Magic of Thinking Big. The premise is that you can only go as far as your thoughts take you. Many people that I have spoken to, said they never really thought about how big they were being in their work or in their lives.
So a couple questions for you:
- Are you in a job expecting that you will only go so far?
- Are you a manager that is concerned that your team is not doing things that will make you look good for your boss?
- Do you see your relationships growing powerfully?
If you are a yes to any of these situations or any other situation that is leaving you in a place where you feel that you have limited power, you are probably thinking, playing, or living in smallness. Trust me, you don't want to live there and that is not who you are.
I just put together a talk on inclusive leadership in health care and across all industries, and I illustrated that playing small as I will share with the audience--meaning not giving the people that you interact with every training and development opportunity, piece of information, freedom to share ideas, acknowledgement, and appreciative bit of coaching you can--leaves you smaller than you truly are. It has an impact on you and on those you interact with in an even more dis-empowering manner.
If you don't find ways to give people around you every opportunity within your power to be fulfilled, particularly those you manage or supervise, you are a leader limiting both your potential for greatness and that of those around you. The best surround themselves with the best and they do so by giving them every opportunity, every day to get better while they develop themselves to get better, too. They do this by listening to great people that they work for, work with, and those that work for them (especially the later).
In doing so, you will get more than you imagined!
What I am seeing in many so-called diversity problems where people are managing across difference whether it is generational, disabled vs. non-disabled, or situations with appararently little to know differences, is that managers are not challenging their teams to play bigger than they think they are able to. As a result instead of being inclusive managers pulling for their folks to grow and expand each and everyday with the result being innovation, fun, and mind-blowing results; they are finding their people constricting and holding back.
Whether it is a since of fear given the economy or fear of retribution, I guarantee it is costing your company money now or it will cost you later.
As an employee in this situation (and yes, you are part of the cause, too) not contributing ideas and insights for whatever reason will leave you overlooked and your contribution bundled up and sent to the Twilight Zone that no one will ever from again.
So, the anecdote: choose BIG! Contribute to your teams, your bosses, your families, your friends, your bowling partners, think BIG on their behalf or even better with them, and watch yourself develop the habit for yourself in the process. You will never feel more free and never accomplish more in every area of your life.
Make it a BIG day!