Yesterday, in practice 35 with a team of head coaches, we went off script – we went where the golfer (not me) wanted to go. Took awhile, but it was freakin’ magic. Here’s the melody line for you, leader.
Years ago I read the Heath Brothers book titled Made to Stick. It was a gem filled with little 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. Masters suffer from this more than most. So, masters must learn to share less than they know. Leaders, remember, are not measured by how much they know but by how much the team learns.
Sitting in Vineyard Columbus Church, years ago, listening to 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 decide to bake chocolate chip cookies for your first grader. Once the cookies were out of the oven, you told your first grader and her friends to come into the kitchen and get some. However, instead of putting ‘em 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 be frustrated they could smell ‘em but they remained out of reach. No bueno. I mean, no Mom/Dad would tease kids with something so good and yet out of reach, right?
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, right golfer? Right, leader.
Live hard. Love harder…