Recently, I picked up the phone and called an old friend of mine. We haven’t worked together in twenty years, hadn’t talked for years, and hadn’t seen each other in a decade or more. Something simply nudged me to call him following one of my many lunchtimes spent alone. So, still remembering his mobile number (weird, yes), I called him up to talk. He didn’t answer. Nobody answers their phone, do they? Within seconds he texted my dumb dumb (phone) and said he would call me momentarily. Seconds later, he did just that.
We talked as if nothing had changed. We caught up on family and work. Talked some sports and then I made mention of how much I’ve learned about addiction through the work of BTL. “It’s everywhere,” I said matter of factly.
Silence for a couple seconds.
I sat in it, gladly. I’ve slowly learned that silence isn’t simply something to be enjoyed in solitude. Silence is required to transform from a lone to all ONE. We mostly fill the void with words, leader. Stop this fear based habit. Slow down. Listen. Sometimes sitting silently with another, even for a very short while, is required for oneness. Do not be afraid of silence. Embrace it. You cannot tune into your team while shouting or even speaking softly in their silence. You see, friend, most humans are hurting most of the time. They want a leader who is unafraid of this reality, who understands this is the gig, and who wants to know more than just the surface facts. Be one, friend. Be one.
After silence came the sobs. My friend apologized profusely as he struggled to share. I sat in my car silently and humbly. I knew by now what was coming. You see, friend, I had reached out to an old friend on a very important day to him. He had told nobody what he began to tell me. His words pierced my heart and soul. I know he felt better sharing his story with someone and it struck me profoundly that this someone was me. As I listened intently, my heart softened to his hurt and my mind changed toward my own. When we hung up a few moments later, we were both feeling better. I’m sure he felt better getting something heavy off his chest. I know I was better hearing his hurt and changing my mind, yet again.
Together we transform, friend, from a lone to all ONE. One L of a difference is love. Love your work. Love your team. Who knew that a lunchtime spent alone, reflecting and reminiscing would lead to changing my mind? God alone. That’s who. At least that’s what I believe. What do you believe, friend. Chance? Coincidence? Fate? Design? Divine appointment? You choose. Your choices have consequence. Most humans are hurting most of the time, leader. They don’t need you to fix them, but they do need to know you care. So, next time something nudges you to reach out to a teammate, take the time to talk.
Be with. Talk. Good…