Years ago, I remember reading the first Heath Brothers book titled Made to Stick. It was a gem filled with little, useable nuggets one of which they called the curse of knowledge – once we know something, we forget what it was like when we didn’t. The curse is around communicating with those who know less than you do. Btw, leader, this ought to happen to you all the time as you continue to work ahead of those you’re privileged to lead. Masters suffer from this curse, obviously, more than the ignorant, mediocre middle, or most members of any team. So, masters must learn to share less than they know. And, the masters that get our best, full effort do this without making us feel less. In fact, these master connectors make us feel like we’re more. FM, baby.
Sitting in Vineyard Columbus, years ago, listening to Lead Pastor Rich Nathan, gave me a great “and” to this learning. You see, leader, Rich is one bad ass Preacher. He is a lawyer by training and has a handful of associate pastors whose entire job is to lawyer him up for every sermon. He picks a topic, does his research and has them do theirs. Then they huddle up and decide what they’re throwing out. They throw out a lot of really good research and tons of arguments. They toss tons of good stuff that would most definitely aid the case they are trying to make. Why would they toss tons of learning into the trash bin? According to Rich, master connectors put the cookies on the bottom shelf. Huh?
Imagine you had a first grader and you decided to bake them chocolate chip cookies for a tasty treat. Once the cookies were out of the oven you told your first grader and her friends to come into the kitchen and get some treats. Instead of putting them within reach on the kitchen table, you stuck them on the top shelf of your cabinets. The first graders would try as best they could but would be frustrated that they could smell ‘em but they remained out of reach. No bueno. I mean, no Mom/Dad in their right mind would tease us with something so good and yet so far our of reach.
Put the cookies on the bottom shelf.
You see, leader, you have the curse of knowledge and tend to overshare what you know to those you lead. It’s all good stuff but it’s top shelf knowledge and the team lives in the real world. Bring it down without putting them down. Bring it down and make it memorable, make it sticky. You see, friend, masters connect us normal folks to the melody lines. Masters make it accessible so the team can sing along and feel good doing so. So, leader, remember the curse and cookies. Remember what it was like before you knew what you now know. Put the cookies on the bottom shelf. Good.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…