Leadership is Repeating Things in New Ways

Posted on Mar 12, 2013 in Blog, Leadership | 6 Comments

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I am not really drawn to repetition. I enjoy finding new ways to express deep truths.

I started thinking about this while I participated in my friend Kate Nasser‘s PeopleSkills chat on Sunday morning. Kate asked a question about what behaviors people wished they could ban from social media, and my response was “repetition.” Another friend of mine, Lolly Daskal, replied that for her, repetition was part of learning.

This sparked a conversation that lasted through much of Sunday, and helped me learn some lessons about repetition.

My initial response to repetition is often that it is boring. I find variety, or even novelty, more intriguing. I appreciate an opportunity to try something new, to taste new flavors, to put things into words in new ways.

It is ironic that I appreciate the power of repetition. I believe that putting our values into practice gives them power. Becoming the leaders we want to be, finding the depth we want to find, is often the result of recognizing our core values and practicing them. As we repeat what we value, we become the people we have the potential to become. Without practice, without repetition, we are not putting our true selves to work.

The challenge for me is that things become routine. I lose the sense that I am exploring and learning, and practicing becomes just another thing that I am responsible to do.

As I lead, and work with leaders, I seek ways to see in new ways. Each day, each action is a new opportunity. The key to becoming the leaders we can be is being open to repeating in new ways, creating ways to expressing deep truths in new words.

How do you find new ways to repeat your core values?

What is drawing you to a clearer understanding of deep truths?

[Image by vortistic]

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6 Comments

  1. Susan Mazza
    March 12, 2013

    Like you I resist repetition. I don’t want to even send out the same tweet more than once or offer/promote the same thing more than once whether it is my own or someone elses. Except tweeting the same/similar things at different times likely means different people will see it. And someone may even see the same message for a third or fourth time and while it may have passed by the first 3 unnoticed the fourth time it may catch their attention and be meaningful.

    Here’s an attempt at a metaphor – needs a lot more refinement but here goes anyway…

    A tweet is like a pebble – it makes a small splash and then it is gone. Drop enough of those pebbles though – perhaps distinct but along the same theme and you can start to shift the flow of the stream of thought for those listening as well as yourself.

    When it comes to values the challenge is keeping them in existence. But existence cannot be static. it must be put into practice as the lens for a constant inquiry into what they mean and how to apply them in every dimension of your life.

    Thanks for provoking my thinking on this subject of repetition Greg.

    Reply
    • Strategic Monk
      March 12, 2013

      Thank you, Susan.

      I share your feelings about repeating myself, though I have learned to drop additional pebbles.

      It is ironic that there are many parts of our lives in which repetition plays a significant role. There are rhythms that we repeat each day, each week, each month. In some ways the repetition encourages us to go deeper each time, which helps us discover hidden truths.

      Some of the repetition makes it possible for me to see things in new ways.

      Reply
  2. Lolly Daskal
    March 12, 2013

    Simple truth:

    I believe we repeat ourselves because there are lessons we need to learn but we are not always ready for the message.

    Lolly

    Reply
    • Strategic Monk
      March 12, 2013

      Thank you, Lolly.

      It fascinates me that we may repeat actions and experiences to listen when we are ready to hear, and repeat what we have said to hold onto the perspectives that may be holding us back.

      Too often I repeat myself because I am not ready to listen.

      Reply
  3. Greta Boris
    March 12, 2013

    Having spent much of my life in fitness and music, repetition is the backbone of what I do. If what you are repeating has depth, you are gleaning more and more quality, benefit, knowledge and skill. Now how that relates to tweets, don’t ask me:)

    Reply
    • Strategic Monk
      March 12, 2013

      Thank you, Greta.

      Sometimes we repeat things to become stronger. Whether they are reps with exercises or the repetition of liturgy, we build muscle and memory to help us become the people we have the potential to be.

      I do not see the repetition as the most important aspect. We need to continually stretch ourselves as we do our reps.

      Reply

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