Three (Contrary) Wishes
A friend dropped a note over the holidays, wishing me a happy new year. Among the things they shared was the insight that came from a crisis they’d faced. Knowing what they had been through, I was pleasantly surprised by their reflective story’s insightful wisdom.
This story got me thinking about our future and three wishes I have for us.
May we move at the speed of trust.
I don’t think the value of trust — earning, building, growing, and securing it — can be overstated. It’s worth keeping in mind how quickly trusted brands like Southwest Airlines and Twitter can lose customer trust. Southwest’s case only took a week to erode decades of earned trust.
Moving at the speed of trust is disobedient to the velocity that society urges. News cycles are hyper-fast. People chase Insta-fame. We see the thousands or millions of likes or followers on social media, and envy sets it. We should make an enemy of envy. And instead, slow down.
Slow and down are both modes of connection. Slow encourages presence. Down encourages depth. And when we move slowly and deeply, we build trust. If we want to grow sustainably, slow down. If we want to deepen our relationships, slow down. If we want to know ourselves more thoroughly, slow down.
May we give generously.
We live in a relational world. Creating and maintaining quality relationships in all areas of life and work is vital for living whole and sustaining success. The best way to ensure that you enjoy healthy relationships is to make sure that you work with the regenerative flywheel of reciprocity.
You (and I) can start the flywheel of reciprocity by being willing to give away something of value without expecting something in return. These offerings could be words of support to a struggling employee, affirming kudos with a top employee, giving meaningful gifts to a loyal customer, or generously giving away your hard-earned through a steady blog.
The flywheel of reciprocity begins with acts of generosity. Someone has to start; why not you and I? Maybe we’re the ones we’ve been waiting for to generate reciprocity by giving generously.
May we make mistakes.
The author Neil Gaiman shared this idea in a recent post. “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.”
Neil continues, “Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. …So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.”
One of the things I reflected on last year is the wisdom that came from my mistakes. Chip Conley of Modern Elder Academy has a practice each Friday to collect his weekly wisdom. Knowing him, I suspect he harvests part of that wisdom from his mistakes.
How can you slow down and move at a speed where trust can be planted, take soil, grow roots, and flourish?
How can you take the risk to be generous to a friend, colleague, coworker, or stranger?
How can you push the edges of your comfort and risk making mistakes?
Steve can help you create an integrated belief-driven business that can reach and align with more of the right people —employees, customers, donors and investors—in a sustainable and meaningful way.