Hello Leadership Challenge Fans,
This month we are celebrating two new Certified Masters, Jacqueline Brassfield and Chrystal Ensey. Both have just completed the rigorous requirements set forward by Wiley publishing to achieve this impressive milestone.
We are honoring Jacqueline by sharing a “Quick Tip” on Puzzle Solving as a Team. This online activity provides facilitators with a wonderful way to demonstrate the concept of “small wins.” Kim Gibbons has written the article so that nearly anyone with an internet connection can use it to spur some great discussion about working better together.
We are honoring Chrystal Ensey by sharing the “Hot Soup” article which she wrote during Advanced Facilitator Training. This is an iLead favorite that not only helps us to remember to Model the Way, but it also brings a belly laugh every time we bring it up in conversation.
Be sure to reach out if you would like additional information on becoming a Certified Master of The Leadership Challenge® or on our Advanced Facilitator Training program.
We hope that this newsletter finds you and your team recovering quickly from the rigors of Covid and enjoying the process of conquering each of your Leadership Challenges!
Thanks for staying in touch with the iLead team!
Hot Soup With a Side of Values
Have you ever had that one moment in time when the light bulb inside you burned brightly? Where a new concept or idea registers so strongly that it changes the way you interact with others. That happened to me with a bowl of hot soup. After college, I landed my dream job delivering training for a local utility company. I was hired into the role when my predecessor, Amy, was retiring. She was well known throughout the company due to her 30 years working there and had cultivated deep and meaningful relationships throughout the organization. My initial training included 60 days of working with her to learn the job and help me make connections. It was clear that I had big shoes to fill and an amazing leader to learn from.
Part of the job included traveling to various utility stations to deliver training. This meant Amy and I would spend a couple of hours in the car together each week. On our third week, we came to a common intersection where traffic would back up and accidents were far too common. As our light turned green, Amy began turning left just as a car came careening out of nowhere and almost hit us! I tensed my muscles, grabbed my seat, and closed my eyes as I braced for impact. We avoided a crash, but as Amy quickly maneuvered around the oncoming car and slammed on her brakes to avoid impact, she shouted “HOT SOUP!”
After I realized we had not crashed and I was not going to die (phew!), I looked at Amy with exasperation and exclaimed, “why on earth did you just shout hot soup?!?” Amy explained she had historically been cursed with terrible road rage and was quick to express her negative frustrations at others; a trait that, earlier in her career, almost stalled out her opportunities to progress. She knew it was important to control herself and model the right behaviors to those around her but could never quite get it in check.
That was until one day she was driving to work with her coveted butternut squash soup as part of an office party and food competition. Amy had spent the prior day collecting the ingredients and whipping up a perfect batch of her most delicious soup and was now transporting it to reheat upon her arrival at work. She did not want to spill a drop!
As Amy turned a corner to get into the parking lot, she slowed to avoid the soup sloshing about. Well sure enough, as she did, someone behind her honked their horn multiple times and then flipped her “the bird” when they drove past. Amy found their behavior to be unflattering, hurtful, and lacking any compassion for her situation. That is when Amy had her own lightbulb moment… that person in the other car was Amy! From that point forward, Amy used that moment and chose to assume the best in others and to simply exclaim “hot soup!” when something went awry due to their driving.
“Hot soup” now models for me the importance of empathy and patience for others, whether on the road or off.
Chrystal Ensey, Ph.D., is a Certified Master who lives in Rossville, TN, a suburb of Memphis. She has served as a seasoned senior leader of Organizational and Talent Development for SoCalGas in Los Angeles, CA, TruGreen in Memphis, TN, and First Command Financial Services in Fort Worth, TX.
How to Solve a Puzzle as a Team
As I was contemplating this month’s Quick Tip, I knew I wanted to focus on Challenge the Process, and more specifically Small Wins. Then I remembered that one of the newest TLC Certified Masters, Jacqueline Brassfield, shared a great activity with me that fit the bill perfectly! So, in her honor, we are sharing with you How to Solve a Puzzle as a Team.