These are excerpts from a conversation with my friend Kory.
Less of a POV on a specific topic - more an edited stream of consciousness. Condensed.
[ 3 min ]
[ Kory ] "I've always been interested in people's stories: Who are you? Why are you? What motivates you? Those kinds of things.
When I coach people who are wanting to change their career paths, I don't often ask for homework or anything like that. But I always ask them to enumerate their past experiences, because I don't know them. I've done this with several people, and they've all found it to be an interesting exercise. Because they hadn't thought about it.
If you don't have your own story clear and conversational in your own mind, then you can't really help somebody sitting on the other side of the table understand 'why you'. Why you?
You know, it's like laughter: Everyone wants to laugh. Humor is good. Humor and injecting humor is good.
And the same thing with listening: Everyone wants to be heard. If I've learned nothing in my life, I've learned that it is so much more important at this particular juncture that I shut my friggin mouth than that I say one more thing. It's just so much more important. Time and time again, I have demonstrated that to myself.
As much as I want to raise my hand, I want to talk, I have something really powerful to say etc - it's just, like, shut up: This person is talking. When the balloon is deflated, when they've said everything that they need to say, then still don't say anything. Just let it end there.
It's been learned.
I see myself as a generalist. And I see so many other people as specialists. And that's just a distinction that I make, in my head. I love to not only learn about people, but I love to observe group dynamics.
And I've come to believe that leaders aren't always the best practitioners. And they're not always the smartest people in the room. And maybe that's the way that I give myself props... but it's more like, leadership is its own profession.
You know, you don't have to be smart. You just have to be engaging. We all know the people that we want to hear. The people we want to hear tell us a story, right? People love to listen, 'The Moth', they love to listen to a story. But if you're up there like Charlie Brown's teacher? Not so interesting..."
[ Jeremy ] "I think that's the perfect way to end this."
[ Kory ] "Probably."
[ Jeremy ] "Thank you, Kory. This was great."
[ Kory ] "My pleasure. And thank you for asking me. I really appreciate it."